Community Network Do-It-Yourself Toolkit > Understand Community Network Examples

1. Understand
Community Network Examples

Community Network Do-It-Yourself Toolkit >

1. Understand Community Network Examples

People putting up a tower for Internet access

What can you learn from other community networks?

As you think about your own needs for Internet connectivity, it is helpful to understand some of the examples of the hundreds of community networks already created. All over the world, people are coming together to build and maintain their own Internet connections by setting up municipal and community networks, cooperatives, and other complementary access solutions. They are connecting the unconnected. You can join them!

Key Points

  • A community network can be as small as a single Wi-Fi hotspot or as large as a small country (if you count a federation of local networks linked to each other, like Guifinet in Spain).
  • A community network can be in a remote area or in a huge city (like New York City Mesh).
  • It can take the form of a series of ethernet cables (as in Cuba), a local cellular system (as in Mexico), or, most commonly, a Wi-Fi network (NYC Mesh and Guifinet supplement theirs with fiber backbone).
  • It can provide services ranging from locally hosted offline resources to local-only voice calls to high-speed broadband connectivity.

Take Action

A woman writing on a post-it note surrounded by people doing a group dynamic

Read through the many success stories and see if any are close to your situation.

Three men talking Waimanalo Internet

Based on the success stories and other examples, develop your initial vision of what your end goal will look like – how do you define “success”?

We want your feedback!

Did you find this toolkit useful, or have suggestions on how we can improve it?

Let us know and help communities connect to the Internet.

Image copyrights:
© Nyani Quarmyne, © Nyani Quarmyne, © Elyse Butler