Community Network Xchange (CNX) 2020

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Half the world lacks Internet access. Community networks can play a significant role in connecting and empowering rural and underprivileged populations who are still struggling for meaningful access to the Internet.

This year’s Community Network Xchange took place in the midst of a new reality. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the significance of community networks cannot be emphasized more. With rolling social distancing restrictions, people across the globe have been forced to remain at home and the Internet has become an absolute necessity. While half of the world’s population is connected online, the other half remains out of reach. The digital divide is deeper in developing countries, where only 19% of people are connected to the Internet, when compared to 87% in developed countries. In India alone, despite the high Internet and smartphone penetration across the country, there are still some 300 million citizens who have no Internet connectivity of any kind.

In such situations, community networks can play a significant role in connecting and empowering rural and underprivileged populations who are still struggling for meaningful access to the Internet. Under the shadow of the global pandemic, perhaps the question to ask is how best to ensure connectivity for all, and should it be considered a basic right? What sort of enabling regulatory and policy environment is required for the mass adoption of community networks? How do we ensure the newly connected are capable digital citizens and are able to maximise the digital opportunities on offer?

With this in mind, the theme of CNX 2020 was “Meaningful Access with Community Networks”. Within this overall theme, ten sub-themes addressed various dimensions related to meaningful access with community networks and how local communities can leverage them.

The event itself ran online over six days, from 20 November to 4 December 2020, 06:00 – 08:30 UTC. Visit Agenda page for more details.

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Date and Time

06:00 – 08:30 UTC

Friday 20 November 2020 –

Friday 04 December 2020

Location

Online


Leading image: © Atul Loke/Panos Pictures for Internet Society

Event Organizers

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