Community Network Do-It-Yourself Toolkit > Define the Functions and Services

3. Define
the Functions and Services

Community Network Do-It-Yourself Toolkit >

3. Define the Functions and Services

a girl holding laptop on a roof

What services does the community need? What are connectivity gaps?

After you understand the community, you need to think deeply about what services your community network can provide to the community. Some networks may only provide a few access points. Others may provide access through a “community hub” such as a school or library. Still others may provide direct connectivity to individual homes or businesses. Some networks simply provide connectivity, while others help local users create content or provide other development services.

Key Points

  • The services and functions of a community network should directly align with what community members actually value and prioritize. Local input into this process is key.
  • Beyond providing services, community networks can play valued social and economic roles within communities themselves.
  • When new technologies are introduced, people adopt them at different paces, so uniform immediate adoption cannot be expected realistically.
  • In discussions about connectivity, champions have a responsibility to cover both the risks as well as benefits of digital technologies and Internet access.
  • The design of services and awareness messaging should accommodate community members with widely different abilities and literacy levels. Accessibility is important

Take Action

Three little girls studying from a school textbook in Nepal

Identify the connectivity gaps in the community.

a man in a winter jacket sitting in a computer room

Develop a list of the potential functions, services, and roles for the community network.

Several women stare at a computer screen in Bolivia

Present, discuss, and document the potential services, functions, and roles that the community network could offer (including a list of priority services and connectivity areas).

Learn More

Next -> 4. Identify the Regulatory Requirements

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Image copyrights:
© Chris Gregory, © Nyani Quarmyne, © Nyani Quarmyne, © Gustavo Castellanos Echazú