Donate

Community Networks Success Stories

Read about some of the amazing community network projects and partners we work with around the world that connect communities.

We support them through direct project funding, small fellowships, grants, and joint training events.

For the Community, With the Community, By the Community.

El Cuy, Argentina

In the Patagonia region of Argentina, residents of El Cuy built a network that continues to grow to meet the community’s needs and connect hundreds to the Internet.

Read the stories about this community’s path to Internet connection.

Tusheti, Georgia

Tusheti, a mountainous, isolated region in the Republic of Georgia, had been left unconnected by commercial operators. The Internet Society partnered with its Georgian Chapter and other local organizations to help build access to the Internet, which was completed in 2017.

In the Tusheti Case Study learn more about the project, which aimed to provide a way for the people of Tusheti to build opportunities while preserving their local heritage, traditions, and ways of life.

The Tusheti community network was also profiled in The New York Times.

Mankosi, South Africa

The Zenzeleni Network in Mankosi, is one of South Africa’s most economically disadvantaged communities. The village is Zenzeleni – which means “do it yourself” in the local language, isiXhosa – was launched in 2012 to provide affordable voice service to the community. It’s now building a solar-powered WiFi network to provide Internet access.

Zenzeleni is an emerging umbrella body of community telecoms organisations, inspired and led by Zenzeleni Networks Mankosi, the first telecoms co-op. 

Buhera, Zimbabwe

Murambinda Works started as an Internet café in 2002 in the Buhera District in eastern Zimbabwe. Since then it’s grown to provide training in computer literacy for teachers at nearly 218 primary and secondary schools.

Murambinda Works, in partnership with the Internet Society and others, is also working to connect eight schools, one nurse training school, and offices of the Ministry of Education.

Suusamyr, Kyrgyzstan

Suusamyr is a village of more than 3000 people located in a wide valley surrounded by high Tian Shan Mountains in the northern Kyrgyzstan. The village is home to Suusamyr Community Network that has brought high-speed Internet to the area.

The Internet Society Kyrgyz Chapter partnered with the Internet Society, the government, local ISPs, and the Suusamyr community itself to create a community network.

APC

APC has been involved in community networks around the world for over a decade, and are key partners.

Read the report on Community Networks in Latin America, published in collaboration with APC, FGV Direito Rio and Redes por la Diversidad, Equidad y Sustentabilidad A.C.

COMSATS Internet Services

Internet Society has partnered with COMSATS Internet Services to connect a rural community near Multan city, in the Punjab province. The project includes deployment of a wireless network together with training for the community that will enable users to access the benefits of the Internet, providing them with opportunities for social development and inclusion.

Digital Empowerment Foundation

India DEF and the Internet Society created the Wireless Communities Project (W4C) ten years ago. What was once a “back of the napkin” idea turned into real projects in India led by the excellent team of experts and partners at DEF and in partner locations.

Read our joint report on community networks in India and recommendations to assist their development.

Guifi.net

Guifi.net is a bottom-up, citizenship-driven technological, social, and economic project with the objective of creating a free, open and neutral telecommunications network based on a commons model.

ICTP

The Internet Society has worked with ICTP on network training and installation as well as new tools for network development. Marco Zennaro and Ermanno Pietrosemoli recently helped with training, a hands-on lab, and installation for Tunapanda in Nairobi, Kenya.

NYC Mesh

Some projects are in urban under-served areas of developed countries. NYC Mesh is a community network supported by the Internet Society and led by some of our New York Chapter members.

Rhizomatica

Rhizomatica began in 2009 as a quest to make alternative telecommunications infrastructure possible for people around the world dealing with oppressive regimes, the threat of natural disaster, or the reality of living in a place deemed too poor or too isolated to cover. The Internet Society supports their efforts in Central and South America to develop networks to connect more people in Mexico, and Central and South America.

Nepal Wireless Networking Project

The Nepal Wireless Networking Project is a non-profit initiative located in the remote rural areas of Nepal. It was started in 2002 to bring communication services to the villages of the Myagdi district and to find ways to bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural areas of Nepal.

Guerrero, Mexico

Volunteers from the Internet Society Mexico Chapter helped bring wireless connectivity to indigenous and rural people in Las Parotas, Cacahuatepec and Aguas Calientes.In the video narrated by the Chapter President, Luis Martin learn about the impact community networks have had in Guerrero, Mexico.

Copyrights:
© Internet Society / Nyani Quarmyne / Panos Pictures
El Cuy image: © Internet Society / Christian O’Flaherty