Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 



>> MODERATOR: Okay. Good morning to everyone. I think we can get started.

So it is a pleasure to have you today at this workshop on

Community Networks: A Evolutionary Paradigm.

Today we will have the pleasure starting with the keynote

by Bob Frankson besides, being an Internet primary, a member of

the Board of Governors of IEEE, Consumer Electronics Branch.

Then we will have a panel discussion with Lee Heberd from the

Council of Uberth Internet from the State University of Camenis,

Arturo, sorry for the pronunciation from India, and then we will

have Felipe from the Internet Society.

So without losing any further time -- and obviously the workshop will be co-moderated by Natalia from the American University.

And without any other time, I would like to ask Bob Frankston to enlighten us with his keynote presentation.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: I think it's -- okay.

Thank you. All this ancient technology.

In any case, talk about you connect the communities as something people do themselves, but the first step is to understand the Internet, how it works underneath, and that's what is empowering. If you know how to build your own Internet, you have a lot of power.

The first thing to understand is the Internet is not something from phone companies, it is not something on the screen anymore, there it is. But it is something we've created using software that allows us to create our own solutions. First, understand that technology doesn't always work.

Okay. I'm going to start again. If this doesn't work,


then we go to plan B.


In any case -- why should I be embarrassed if this doesn't work? I see. Okay. Now. We're back on.

So it is a by practice software and the first thing you learn is software doesn't always work so we have to program around it and learn to create your own solutions.

And it's really given us a new way to use wire and radios. The telecommunications model is like the railroad. Someone owns the wires and radios and they create solutions and use their infrastructure to sell you solutions.

With the Internet we use the facilities very differently. We use it to create our own solutions and that is really -- if you have something that works, I won't go into too much detail, that is what is empowering. One thing you have to understand, there is no Internet you access. What you do is use the technology to connect with others just as much locally and far away. Initially we had our local networks and it is by interconnecting those that we got the Internet work but two machines locally are just as much the Internet as two machines around the world.

So the traditional approach of telecommunications is speech is a service. They sell you phone calls. You have to buy, you want video, oh, that is a different price. You want mini tell, oh, that is a different price.

The provider creates value by using all the wires and facilities and the provider has the relationship with each user. The provider bills you for each service. Has to know what you're doing. That is one of the privacy concerns.

And the privacies choose what software. They only offer what makes money. They will sell you phone calls. When you repurpose a video network, they will sell YouTube and they will sell you high expensive tele medicine. What they don't tell you is it does make simple things work because that is not where the money is.

But the enter way is very different. The meaning is created outside by the network by the users. What we do is take the packets are sent ask they are assembled outside the network and you chop everything up into packets. In the phone system packets are like a train. You send all the packets each in a row to the destination. The Internet is very different.

More like cars, they all go their own way.

The important thing, this diagram will show you, traditional phone system, phone call goes through the network -- trying to get a pen I can write with -- through the network ask back out.

With the Internet, we've de-coupled. There is a long line here between you don't know what is happening on the far side of the line, instead you just send all these packets independently. But the meaning is between this screen that might have a picture and this screen which might have a picture. But if you really want to get philosophical the meaning is between the people.

So, since the provider doesn't know what the meaning is, they can't charge you for the message of the meaning. So, this is the key point is -- the Internet is really about economics, if we all get together, we could pay for sort of a generic medium for carrying things without worrying about who is doing what. The particular technology doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you are mesh, fiber or radios, you have control.

And this is the key point about community networks. Community networks are not a physical thing of the it's a community getting together to create its own shared facilities, and that is really what is impairment. Because you can basically do it just by working together. The secret to the Internet, TCP.

How many of you have heard of TCP? Anybody awake? Oh well. But that is basically, you're talking about TC itch CP. That is the protocol for cooperating. It is not inside the network. All cooperation is outside the network and that is where the funding has to be.

And the other point is it is inherently neutral. Inside the network you have packets, nobody knows who the packets belong to, nobody is charging for each pat it. You don't need network neutrality. You don't have the opportunity to be non-neutral. It is technology agnostic. You don't care whether it is mesh, packets, whatever. You don't care if it is wired or wireless. There is no such thing as a mobile Internet or immobile Internet, unless you nail things down.

So this is important to understand that we have the power and we can start very locally. Basically you can start in your home, your apartment house. You don't have to change everything at once, because once you get the community to work together, all of telecommunications becomes a resource you can buy so that you immediately -- your community network becomes part of a larger network without any need for provider, the middle, anybody to coordinate. So that is the key empowering aspect.

And that's really the path for transition. You store it with local here, local here, and this part in the middle could be telecommunications wire. Lower as these communities grow, they all become part of the connected community. And that's because we saw the problems outside the network. We don't need somebody in the middle helping us.

But the other point of thing, the Internet is about people and powered by technology. You heard it is not about Facebook, it is really actually the devices that we use to communicate. They're our devices and the more we know about it, the more we can create solutions.

So this nice example here. If you look at the latest nature shows, lions wear collars, they have cellular phones, and they've got GPS units.

Now they can do it because lions are rich. Every one of them can have a cellular phone account and you know they can call the operator up and they will know the lion's name. This is what happens when you have rich customers. But with the Internet we have a very different approach. On the radios, instead of an account for each lie on, we would own the radios as a resource. So instead of the device existing to make money for phone company, they're a resource.

What that means is that we can now do cows. Because cows are not rich. Cows go can't go out and get a phone account, but if it is a resource then we can simply put very inexpensive radios in each cow. That is the difference between the telecom model with your client and the connected community Internet model where you're an owner.

And the other thing to remember is we can connect anything. That is why social network is important, but it's not all there is. That is just one way we use it. We can buy mental model, medical monitoring, we can manage crops, we control light. And it becomes a new infrastructure. We don't need all these wires running. We get a resource where anybody can create things.

The final thing to make a point is how simple it is. This is my latest project. This is an entire computer in here, and I'm using it just to control these lights, and I can connect to it over to the Internet. How simple can you get?

And if you understand how to do this thing, you have the power to reinvent the world

Now, in concerns like privacy and things people worry. When you spill the package to encrypt you can take responsibility for controlling this. You have social sites where you have to worry about it, but those, again, applications and not the Internet per se, their consequence. But the key thing is to learn how to operate this new environment, how to solve your own problems, and basically the new way of thinking.

The final thing is, it's about economics. If you pay for the common infrastructure, you then cooperate and you have your community. So, we can go on. There are a lot of consequences if you want to talk about, but to learn more these are my sites and connected, this is a future consideration, connectivity, xyz, and hope to have future communities.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Bob, for this enlightening presentation, and I would like now to go in the concrete details of how community networks and networking can be useful for users and for new users and I would like to start by asking to Frederick Donk from the Internet society knowing that the Internet so it is very decentralized and is doing excellent work over the past 20 years in empowering people.

So what is the approach of the Internet Society towards this user empowering initiatives and which kind of user empowering initiative do you have? This could be useful for the debate.

>> Thank you. Does it work? You can hear me okay?

Thank you, Luca. Thank you, Bob for this great


Whenever you look at different arts and the different principles in the Internet you can see the Internet has been meaned to be decentralized, has been meaned to be depowering to the end users, which is also bringing something interesting that we call resilience. Whenever we try to control sensor to the Internet, you have a way to escape this. I have some interesting antidotes. As I told you to look at about community networks and regulators trying to regulate this, but I don't know if this is already the moment to address this. Maybe later in the conversation when you have concrete examples to those communities members.

So what are we doing in ISOC? For us, beyond our technical assistant and capacity building, empowering people in communities is a key issue for us. We have led some experiments in different countries through projects. One of them is a project in India and then I realize I am speaking next to Retu who will speak on that one in a few minutes, so I won't be long on that one because you certainly have more details to bring into the conversation, but let me tell a few about what we call wireless for communities.

This is a project we start back in 2010 in India where we


decide to import local communities to just face lack of


connectivity, but also and as importantly lack of relevant


content, because as you know, and there have been much


discussion this is also important that the Internet be relevant


for people, and the relevance you kind it in local content.


So, in order to address those issues we have started by engaging local communities ask training trainers. Meaning we approach the people in the local communities to just actually give them the skills and the capacity to start building a wireless network, in this case a Wi-Fi.

So we have address they had through this way, and then afterwards we have address Ted technical issues, which is in this case a Wi-Fi related issues. But again, I'm not sure I want to hijack this part of the conversation.

So to answer your question, Luca, The Internet Society approach in many different countries including Asia and Africa and Latin America was to focus on those local communities in a very (Indiscernible) way, by the way. We approached the academics. We approached engineers local, the technical community, but business as well to import and formulate their wish and try to connect each other on a local level.

Thank you.

>> I would like to ask Rita from the Digital Empowerment Foundation if you could tell us a little bit about the community networks in India and how are you engaged with policy issues and how is the empowerment of the users happening.

>> RITA: Thank you. I am happy to be here that I'm

sitting next to ISOC and next to Frederick, who has funded us

and who has experimented firstly in India, along with us, to

understand community wireless networks in India.

India, where I live, it's a frugal innovation Country. We do all kind of frugal innovation, and that's something which we believed when we think about talking about the last mile connectivity and solving the last mile issue of access. So what we are doing in the community wireless networks, we are using the license spectrum 2.4 Gigahertz and 5.8 Gigahertz spectrum for this connectivity and using the technology wireless -- local's Wi-Fi routers and low cost Wi-Fi technology using the line of sight. That is something we have built around it, like the community I will talk about -- give you two examples of the community networks.

The two examples, one which Frederick talked about is Chandery. It's a district located in Matapach. 90 percent of the population is a minority population and they do hand loom weaving. They have been doing a hand loom weaving from the last (Indiscernible) are quite famous for their community and that is why we do it.

So what we have done there, we have engaged people to be a part of this community networks, we have engaged youth who are, like fifth standard or eighth standard or something like they have done their primary education, and just to train them on this how to do this kind of a technology.

And believe me that they haven't learned -- they have not -- they are like a barefoot. They learn everything by the color coding of the wires. Red is negative. Neutral. And the positive side of the wires. They learn it through that. Now, they are being barefoot ingenious.

What is the agenda of the community network? I can find out how is that developing a model. It is one I heard. One heard is E stands for eagerness and capability, too, H, where we transform the community networks, work is the issue, E is for education, and A for activating entrepreneurship, D is for government services. Our model is talking about holistic approach. So we try to -- within the community if we have a primary health centers, education in schools, so we try to connect them up and we provide the locals connectivity.

It's not the free cost which we are providing it. The cost is, like, marginalized cost. What we take it at a community engagement cost. It is not a high innovation like data plan cost. It is the cost depending upon the user cost. Whether if anyone wants 1GB data we provide them 1GB data. If anyone wants 256 KBPS, we provide that. That depends on the user need and when they Mead it. Do they need it at night? Do they need it in the morning? So that is also a plan of action, like the business model is around it.

Another example which I would like to give are bar on. Baron is a tribal location located in Ragistan, and that is where we have connected and seven centers which are the hop centers and these centers we have connected through open source technology and if there is no Internet connectivity because the problem is not only with the wireless providing the solution, but also with the back hall connectivity. The back hall connectivity is not rung up, we provide the Internet connectivity and that is where we work in those business models.

So if anyone is interested, as well, I can give a small


detail about the project and I can talk more about the wireless


community. I can a whole day about the wireless community.


>> I guess one of the things I would be interested in hearing if the users are also engaging in creating content or consumers or content.

>> They are engaging their content. When I talk about the Baron network, these hub centers that gendered their own content. In a way, generated their own content. Imagine two villa jest in India. The one village is approximately 20 kilometers from that second village and there are two centers. Sometimes there is a back hall connectivity or not.

I am a student who has gone to nearby school, but the other one has not. So they share the content by Internet connectivity. They share the content. They talk about what are their local issues. They share it. That is something that is recorded overbroad casting over mobile phone.

Again, when there is Internet connectivity they upload it. So that is the way they generate the content.

If I am in -- in every village there is normally one health center is there, usually, which is not good sign. So these centers are connected telemetric through the centers, and if someone is seeking for health services, they talk to their doctor.

Another thing is that we are providing a number of e Governance schemes to them. If you want to know about what kind of a job requirement do you need, we provide solutions to them.

And they also generate their own kind of a content in terms of how do (Indiscernible) meant some snacks. Like the local products, made the local products and they sell it in the field like this way. This is something they are doing it.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Rita, for this

perspective from India.

I would like to change geographical perspective and go

locally to Brazil.

So I would like to ask to Diego, how the convergence of mobile networks and wireless network, how does convergence phenomenon negatively affect community networking, if it does negatively affect community networking.

>> DIEGO: Hello. Yeah, it is working.

First, thank you for the invitation to participate to this


My main subject is not wireless community networks, but my subject I'm studying, my PHD will impact wireless community networks. And to answer your question, I will explain a little bit what is my research and how I can answer.

So I have been studying what we call today mobile broadband network. By paying attention specifically to the standardization process. I have been directing my attention specifically to the project called the IEEE, which is solid on named the (Indiscernible) high efficiency and this project will define the next generation of Wi-Fi. And today it is relative to know mobile networks operators are offloading traffic from similar to Wi-Fi. This is, of course, quite easy to understand once you know at least two things.

First, that the actuals and current standards for GT networks, LTE, long-term evolution, does not have enough capacity and the second, Wi-Fi works on the license spectrum. So mobile doesn't have to pay to work under it.

So that's why some mobile network operators have decided to push forward this new project issued to (Indiscernible) as I said and they are specifically interested in two things. First, it's better integrating Wi-Fi and cellular architectures and creating -- by creating, hand over mechanisms for doing so.

Broadly speaking this project wants to integrate, as I said

(Inaudible) and -- is it working? Yeah. Sorry.

Okay. Close.

At the end of the day, it means they are looking to the license spectrum. And usually mobile careers have a lot of power over the networking infrastructure because they bought a share of the radio spectrum. But once they move to a position in which they have paid nothing for the spectrum they can't exercise the same degree of power over the network infrastructure.

So my main argument here is that we can see a trend of network operators, mobile network operators, big telecommunication companies going in the direction of these shared and cromo resource.

This rule provides bad things for wireless networks since they produce a lot of noise and interference in the license spectrum.

Right now we have two upcoming standards competing to play this role, LTU, which is LT license, developed by 3GGP, and as I said, the next generation of Wi-Fi. So these upcoming standards we look for the same place in the spectrum and the same place in the network architecture, and they are fighting each other right now to establish coexistence mechanisms.

This is important because if they don't establish fair coexistence mechanisms, wireless community networks based on Wi-Fi will be killed by big network operators.

With this, I think, I finish my comments and I will let space for the discussion if you want to know more.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks for this. We can pass directly.

I saw that Bob had some comment, but I would ask you to wait until we open for discussion.

So, please, you can introduce.

>> AUDIENCE: I would like to ask a question to Ramizera

from the Bergman Center.

So there is no centralized authority taking care of the networks, so how can we make sure they operate smoothly?

>> Yeah. So there is specifically the main issues, like how to promote not only the usage, because one thing is like we need user to join this network, but most importantly we actually need people to create and to maintain this network.

So, of course, there is the amount of institutional approach in which you can have one organization, or one authority that decides to set up the network ask explain to people how to use it, et cetera, but then you also have, like, those specificity for the community itself to hold the initiatives and the community organize themselves in order to create those community wireless network or community mesh networks.

So the question then here is, what are the motivation in

order to create set up and then in order to maintain to get

a long-term system ability within those network.

So obviously we have, like, there is one thing is like the ISOC and what you're doing, which is the more institutional approach, but then we also have, like, kind of etiological approach, so for instance we have the mesh networking in bag Lynn, which is essentially a bunch of geeks that want to promote (No English translation) because they want to provide a choice for the user to have an alternative to the traditional Internet connection which is centralized by the operators. In this sense you have a movement. You actually have a movement of people that get together and that build and maintain this network.

Now, there is also the question of the necessity. So you actually have networks that -- the main instance of setting up and maintaining the network is because there is no alternative. So the people that want to be able to connect and wants the people from the same neighborhood to be able to connect, they have this necessity to actually do it and set up those do it yourself Internet networking to operate.

But then there is, like, this is often not enough to actually reach some kind of mainstream, like etiology is not enough. Necessity is good incentive but it is also not enough to reach the mainstream.

So, in order to actually to actually have a viable alternative to our real Internet connection we need to design or come up with alternative incentive, which can be, on the one hand can be negative, like you can use this streak. The streak will be if you do not contribute to the network then you cannot connect. But in this sense you are obviously complaining the world principle underlining the sense of the community. The goal is to provide a public service and some kind of comments to everyone.

The other alternative which is something that is really experimental, but that is being now experimented as a proposal, it is the concept it is called community coin and the idea is basically to rely on the same technology as the bit coin in order to create incentives. The same way as when you connect to the bit coin network you are actually minding bit coins. In this sense the process is done by delaying information. So the Marijo are allowing traffic to go to your hotel then they are communicating those coins and those coins are not like bit coins, money that you can just exchange, but they can then be used within the community in order to purchase and to expand the network infrastructure.

So you take this new kind of incentivation which is a positive mechanism which might -- the idea then becomes what can you do with those coins. So in this proposal the idea is that they didn't want it to become this kind of commercial market base thing and, so, the user of those coins will be reinvested exclusively in the community, but ideally the same model could actually be devised to design -- the use value of the coin can't be done to any other thing N. this sense you can use a decentralized system of issuing some kind of value whenever some be is contributing to the network.

>> A lot of times we think about them as being organic, but to a large extent they will also either rely on future regulation or already have the necessity of complying with regulation.

Where are the current aspects of regulation, our future needs for a regulatory framework?

>> So in the terms of measurement, I think one of the biggest problem at the moment is that there is actually hardly any regulation. There is actually interesting community we imagine as positive thing, you know. However, those things actually exist and are actually being effected by a lot of other kind of regulations. So the regulation is not specifically addressed to the measure I talk about but there is an effect.

I think there is one important example, for instance, which is the case in the chance of (Indiscernible). So if you violate copyright three times, you are out of the Internet. It is three provisions, which is not so well known which is a fact that it introduces a thought of cost regions for not securing the Internet connection.

So this basically means it creates some kind of either or in the sense that one -- if someone connects through my note work, like if I become a hooter to the network and someone connects to my network and download some copyrighted files then I have two alternatives. Either I take the blame and therefore I am obviously in violation of copyright law, or I actually pretend or I just claim that it is not me because I had an open non secure network and by doing that automatically I become guilty of not securing my Internet connection. In some way cannot escape anymore being guilty on one or I'm guilty on the other side.

So in this sense this law which was absolutely not thought or designed for networking has a really strong effect and is really negative consequence and is likely to dissuade people from ever opening their (Indiscernible) at least in France.

So this is just an example, but there is, like, many, many other laws.

For instance, in Italy we have the law that you could not provide Internet connection for antiterrorist law. You had to identify the identity and the timing of anyone connecting to an open Wi-Fi, so in some way all those laws are, like, indirectly limiting the potential for a community to be deployed.

So that is one thing. And the other thing is basically the spectrum. So there needs to be regulation. We need to understand how to do management. In France, for instance, the word spectrum which has been freed after the passage to the digital TV, it has never been considered to only have (Indiscernible) being assigned to digital radio and whatnot, so alternative we can use mejous style based approach which require actioning and of course community network do not have the same monetary possibilities as like big commercial operators so it is really unlikely that they will be unable to object take the auction.

So instead there should be a more common based approach of actually considering the spectrum as a comment that everyone can use and then figuring out how we can actually manage that spectrum so there is no dysfunctionality and so on.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Thank you, again for raising an essential element for the discussion on spectrum and having a policy that will not hinder the development of community network but to facilitate the community network and user empowerment.

I see that Bob is boiling, but I would ask him to wait for two minutes for the last intervention by Lee.

Could you quickly tell us, we know that the Council of


Europe has recently last year (Indiscernible) a


recommendation on the Internet user rights, and we noted


that the council has been very proactive in defending human


rights. This kind of initiatives are for local community


networks. What could be their impact on freedom of


expression on user empower meant of self-determination?


What is your take on this?

>> LEE: Thank you for the invitation.

So, yes, I mean, first of all, community networks is not something that has been directly addressed by myself or colleagues in the Council of Europe, but obviously the importance of getting access and the ability to exercise rights and freedoms, all the things we know and love via community network if it is cheaper would be great, of course. That can only be empowering. Can only be great self-determination, et cetera, et cetera.

I am only going to talk very briefly but I was thinking about the question and really the question should be turned around. I mean, what would happen if you were to pull down a community network if it was to be stopped, for example. Would that be, you know, a breach? Would that be a violation of freedom of expression, access to information?

I think probably, I mean I can't say there is no case law in the courts here on this regarding a community network, but, I mean, quite clearly, it is the job of the states, your states under the universal declaration in Europe and other regions of the world to ensure and protect access and information and to promote it. And I think part of that promotion is, can and should be the building of community networks.

We have work at the European levels which talks about public value of the Internet and if you join that up with NETMundial statement which talks about the Internet is a global asset which should be managed in a public interest then clearly. That should and should fall in that frame, really.

Affordable access is key, of course. If community networks promotes affordable access particularly for people that are not in you are ban areas where access is probably higher than those in urban areas, and those with special needs, if community networks serve those groups, then that is really, really very important. So yes, it is very, very empowering.

So that is really my major point. So if you -- if they were to be effected adversely, this could be a question of, I don't know, this would certainly be -- informs part of a denial of access to information and expression to the freedom of expression. You know, kite even be a question of discrimination.

In any case, in the work of the Council of Europe and the guide to human rights for internet users that you mention quite clearly it should be affordable and non-discriminatory and cutting access should be a measure of last resort, really. That is where we are. Even if access to the Internet is not a right. It is not human rights per se it is part of the rights which exist already and even that context, we are moving towards just how fundamental it is for those rights to now I shall online.

If you think about the future, think about the next billion and talk about the next billion or billions, we're talking about a lot of young people. So it is really very important that access is also promoted even through community networks, so I think states have a relevant incumbent on them to promote these networks. But also it is not just access for access sake. It is access linked to literacy, to citizenship and to values.

Having a car ask then knowing how to drive the car are two different things.

I think that is the only point I would like to make. Try to build in a literacy aspect, a value aspect into community networks and perhaps that is something for the future.

Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Lee, for this.

I see that Bob had the patience to wait for his comments. I would like to ask a comment from Bob, and then open the floor for questions and remarks.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: I don't know how much patience I had. I make a very strong statement. I've heard nothing here about the Internet I know. It is all about telecommunications networks. Traditional telecommunications networks.

If you go back to the design point of the Internet you have two machines on network and you don't care whether you chase it or the rest of the world, there is nothing between the end to end principle, you can't dash terms like access, terms like affordable, they don't exist in this. You can talk about community networks, if you want, but if you really want to get the benefit of the powerful idea that it is the Internet, and I have to admit with language, words take on meaning, you know, their own meaning, so I talk about connectivity as a concept, but, you know, if you have this fringe able connectivity you don't have these concepts.

Now the question is how to make that transition. And I've looked at a lot of these networks, like Griefyet and other networks and the problem is they don't have a sustainable funding model because if you have to prevent people from using it to fund it, you've lost the key property of connectivity.

So the solution, this is why communities are important, is to start locally. So what I did is at hike crow soft is give people Microsoft give people the control of the wires at the house. You have to reach through each PC like you have to reach through each phone. By putting up the router at the edge of the network you have control over the network of your house. That can extend through apartment houses and beyond.

The property I was showing you about little communities connecting is that you can grow from those seeds and by aggregating a purchasing for the passage you remove the ability to choose who is allowed to communicate and what.

Now, in some places there are some laws that work against that ask all I can say is there used to be laws you couldn't ride a cart faster than the horse and things like that, so we have to set examples to see change.

We're not going to be able to necessarily explain the change and it is going to come differently different places, so we really first need a deep understanding of how this change comes.

Now there are a lot of social problems and a lot of issues at a consequence of that we need to deal W. we need the deal with both those as consequences and opportunities those fundamental change and have that dialogue, too. I'm not saying these aren't issues, but the first thing we have the realize is the Internet is not a network but a different technique that removes this pipe model.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Bob.

I think Frederick, do you have a quick comment? After Frederick, we can open the floor for questions.

>> FREDERICK: Just a quick comment. I appreciate so much you're saying Bob. We need to un look our imagining and not be (Indiscernible) by the telecom world. I would like to refer to what you're saying yesterday.

Ratings is pure telecom, nothing to do with the Internet.

When Vint and Bob and Karen invented this CPAP in 74 and documented you would be surprise that he had assume someone might use this to build their own community networks but it was in the DNO for the inventors. One is the permission list for innovation. People are being encouraged to do this in a way that you have no way, nobody has any idea about this.

One of the consequences, and I mention it and I'm sorry that she just left, actually, was resiliency.

So referring to try from initiatives and regulation that wanted to hate it because of secondary liability for copyright issues, one of the way for the geeks over there was actually to build a VPN and connect to the Internet in Sweden because in this Country you got no relationship with second reliability. This is what we're calling resilience and it is fantastic. This is what the Internet offers.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

So I think I will take a couple of comments. So I will have the gentleman there and the gentleman there.

Do we have a mic? Could you please go to the -- take the

mic there.

Thank you.


>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. So this is France from Germany.

>> AUDIENCE: Recently became a member of the flag front community in cologne and I found it very inspiring.

What I want to ask is, like, what is the vision and whatever? How far can this grow, given that I somehow feel if I look at the global infrastructure will is probably still a need for these under sea cables and so on. Probably I would assume that 99 percent of the traffic in the meshing networks goes to the traditional telecos. Maybe there would be different examples because it is still a pretty geeky community. If this is going to be big it is likely to be 99 percent of routing outside the network.

So what is the future vision that, I don't know, how big can this grow? Will it completely replace teleco globally? Will there may be at some point have their operators just being paid for crossing the Atlantic, but data and this will be paid by bit coin or what is the -- if you think big, maybe anybody would like to com member where this could be leading to.

>> MODERATOR: Just the other question there and then we have some reply.

>> Where do I look?

>> MODERATOR: There is some gentleman there.

I think Bob has already a reply on this. Yes.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: The reason we have scarce cables is -- how many people know this from rent staking. Telecos can't add value. All they can do is prevent you from communicating and charge you money. The reason you have scarcity so the resources become valuable.

All those cables are very expensive. Once we scale this model up, China sees value just put a bunch of different cables in, and even Copper run 10 megabits over that.

I'll give a long talk why spectrum is a central concept but we have basically unlimited wireless. We could send 25 radio and Jupiter and object the solar system and still hear it.

The other point is 99 percent of the traffic is local. Now, we normally with Netflix streaming, but almost all of that is cash able and most of what you speak to are local. Distance is new and very exciting, but, you know, you don't have to -- when you turn on a light in your house, you don't send a message to the cloud. You just turn the light to turn on. You tell it to turn O. so we need a lot of less capacity. The reason we think we need capacity right now is a lot of money made in selling high capacity ask selling fibers and selling movies, but the bits that it would take to tell a hospital you're having a heart attack might be only a few dozen bits to call for help. So the real value is actually in the first few bits and the rest is optional and we can meet the needs, you know, as we need to.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. I think Diego also had a comment

on this.

>> DIEGO: I would like to answer to Bob.

This is a very interesting point you made. And I think, and I'm quite interested in this because it involves two different words, telecom and computer words, IP word, right. These two worlds are merging and you can see that when you look at the fourth generation of mobile technology, because it is all based in IP, right. But it doesn't work like the

Internet because it is centralized.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: You mean social?

>> I mean the data package; it is the fourth generation of the LT network.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: Those are just temporary engineering glitches.

We'll get past those. Those are temporary engineering glitches.

>> Diego: Okay.

>> Bob: I'm with the trip E consumer society so I can say the education so it has a lot to learn.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. I think will was a comment there from the gentleman.

>> AUDIENCE Yeah. Sorry. I am Nicholas from Imundi.net. I wanted to comment because I didn't see in the panel much representation of community networks in Latin America which is a movement that has a long history.

We, in our association, have been working for many years developing a free software solution that helps communities build the wrong networks even when they have no previous knowledge of networking.

We have tested this during the last years, we have had cases of communities where with a single one-day workshop the people in that village built a 20 node community network in two weeks. So this has been working very well, and we would like this to be also considered and just let the rest of the world know that we are also here and if people is interested in what is happening in Latin America with community networks, then we have lots of contacts with the people working here.

Thank you.


>> MODERATOR: Thanks. One of the purposes of this network is to let people meet and create new initiatives to connect. So I think we have another comment, if I'm not wrong.

Yeah, here. So we have Parminder. Actually, if you want, you can sit here.

>> AUDIENCE Hi. How are you?

Sorry. I wanted to -- I'm Parminder from (Indiscernible) one of the more important ones I wanted to be at. I had to be somewhere else. I'm late. I didn't hear much what you guys may have said, but still the question even in the end I caught is that we need community networks, but the major issue is back bones. Back bones can be international, but when settings are local, but what is the local part is like in dean au the local is very big. So the national backbone itself.

So we have a problem with a community ownership of the last thing, what connects people, but we have issue of a backbone.

So how do we solve that out is the issue. The thing that we are trying to do in India is government is letting a huge -- you want to answer something?

>> No. When you finish.

>> AUDIENCE: So the government is letting publicly funded huge backbone across the Country. This is happening in many countries. People realize unlike wireless, often wired infrastructure is a natural monopoly especially in populated areas. And, so, one wire becomes you can't have multiple wires, so they're laying the back bones.

So what we are doing is they end the backbone at what point. The last infrastructure we are advocating should be local community owned and different models of that.

Now I'm just asking you the question is it somewhat sustainable that we build an advocacy that somehow there are international or national back bones which are administered not by government but some kind of a neutral, you know, authority or something which is -- has its own constitution mandate or something which can put it away from the executive authorities, and they manage the back bones and then the communities own the last infrastructure. Because the question of backbone I think remains important.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: Who owns the highways? If you take 1 percent of the cost of the highways you can do a lot of backbone. The real question is scaling. The community networks regional ownership.

Now, in the end the way the people work together is the government. Whether they delegate that or not, the key thing is you don’t want to maximize the revenue for the wires, you want to maximize the revenue to the economy.

So think of it just like the interstate roads. It's relatively simple financing problem.

>> PARMINDER: I'm sorry. Data mostly owned by the public authorities in all places.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: The roads or ->> PARMINDER: Roads.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: So why the fiber is not? Roads used to be


>> PARMINDER: Do you agree what I'm saying? Do you have a


funded backbone? On the top of which the end points we are communities on the local infrastructure and I'm also adding that we create a new advocacy that the backbone is administered by neutral body which is free from the executive controls.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: Okay. I'm not sure. The highways are free from executive controls in the sense of not checking every car. If you have got encrypted packets, there's no control of each packet. So it's not an issue. It is mainly an issue of having the value to society as a whole as a funding model is where the value comes from.

I want to give you a chance to finish your statement.

>> MODERATOR: I guess that he was referring to the complement tear it tee between having the local access and the backbone, the infrastructure on the backbone. That is necessary to otherwise it won't have the last mile, right.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: I don't like the term last mile. I am saying it is scale. Basically you pay for infrastructure at scale. You pay for it in your house by yourself. You pay for it. It is a village and when you need spanning infrastructure, you pay for the Country or the State as a larger community.

Again, we have roads like that, too. We can composite a system of roads, you will have local roads, at some point we optimize it by having regional highways and that is a good model for connectivity.

>> MODERATOR: Yeah, we had a commenter.

>> AUDIENCE: Yeah. First, I'm not quite clear in terms of the model that Bob is referring to.

The first and foremost thing -- I come from India. I represent the mobile operators in India for a disclosure here.

First of all, the reason the government asked private operators to come in and create the infrastructure is because the government ran out of money to do the things it needed to do. It could not aggregate the billions of dollars that were required to put in place the infrastructure and India is a clear example of how we sent from 7 percent penetration to almost a hundred percent penetration in terms of connections over a period of 20 years. So once the infrastructure is laid and the fiber, the backbone is laid, the question that arises that I would like to ask is, you know, is this community development model subsidized to what level is it subsidized, and if mobility is the preferred access mechanism, how are you paying or how are the end users paying these handsets which in India are quite expensive. Perhaps you're talking about a fixes access point, right, but that's long turn, not in my mind sustainable, because 85 percent of people are up for a mobile device to access it.

I am just trying to get some clarity, as to one, the subs Sid de-model if there is one in terms of the community model, and two the access point in terms of how that is handled. And in India the government is providing the use of a subsidy model and make sure it is done through other Nyugen and those things you are all aware.

>> MODERATOR: Before giving the floor to Bob, one second, raise another comment there and also from Rita.

>> I will be interested from Bob to find out how the laws of physics have changed aspect from his infinite --

>> MODERATOR: I fear he has a good reply.

>> AUDIENCE: Okay. My name is Raul. I'm from Electronic

Frontier, Freedom, and private party as well.

My question is: Could there be any international resource for building community driven mesh networks? For example, it is hard to get information about best practices, software and hardware that works well for creating a community driven network.

>> MODERATOR: Excellent question.

I think there was a comment also in your back and then we can go back to the panel.

>> AUDIENCE: I just wanted to comment. The model in Argentina regarding this question, a community networks, there are not subsidized by the state, they are community owned and community run and funded and even though there is always -- will always try to look for association with public institutions, so that we can share bandwidth. Bandwidth that is not fully used, for example, in universities, libraries, schools, that don't run at night. So all the bandwidth, all the night bandwidth from local institutions is shared by the communities surrounding these institutions. That makes a very sound model. And that bandwidth is already paid for by the state, but it's not a subsidy, per se.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. It was exactly the same direction to where I was heading yesterday during the main session on zero rating when I was advocating community network to have sustainable networks, all right.

I think Rita has a --

>> RITA: Yeah. I would like to take the example from Argentina. That is the same kind of a model that we are using as well. It is another model that the government has subsidized it or government has given us subsidize e services to us, not like that.

It has been completely owned by community. Completely managed by community. It is being operated by community. And certainly there is a management cost and operational cost but it is limited. It is not that extensive cost which comes around it.

In India we are not able to share the bandwidth. We are not still allowed to share the bandwidth when it is day and community. Day wise or night wise we are still not allowed to do that. Correct me if I'm wrong, but city I'm not very sure about it. What we do is like in a subsidizing we offer model like this way that we provide the need base services to the customer. If he requires certain things at the daytime, we limit the duration of the time period as well.

As well as another thing we have one physical center where in each of our hop centers are called. There we provide free wireless connectivity to the community members and they can access through their mobile phones and access through any devices which is not at all which we are asking for them to pay it. But being ownership, the community can take an ownership of these networks, what we have done is we have made them as members to become part of these community networks ask then they paid, like, I will say less than a dollar for these part of community networks so that they can own this network. And once they are also be a part of the network, they understand how these community networks work. When they fully grab the network, in fact once you are on the net, you really need an Internet. And it is like even they want the Internet. That is what we learned from our various models.

Now we have more than 15 community wireless models in India and I am pretty sure that two and three of them are models which we have started (Indiscernible) out of it as well.

>> MODERATOR: Excellent. Excellent reply. And I think, Bob, is still boiling.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: No, actually, I enjoy some of these questions. It is actually entertaining.

First, I want to emphasize there is nothing wrong with providing particular services without providing full technology. The Internet is a great technique. If you want to provide access to health information you don't have to wait for new activities

Words like subsidies and financing, those are financing economic terms. A subsidy is a policy so if the government decides it wants to sub dice something out of public funds, it can.

The danger is confusing financing models. Some financing models the community borrows money to put in a network and pays for it and becomes an owner. If it has a provider it can never pay the loan off so that is a different financing model. This new financing model becoming an owner has become available. There is an issue people don't appreciate the value, so we need a process. We went through with highways. People didn't appreciate the value of interstate roads. Initially businesses would subsidize it because they couldn't make money on the toll roads because they saw the value.

When you say that, you know, people don't want to finance the networks, well that is a process of educating. The problem is when companies invest in these networks and they became -- this is when I use the word rent seeking -- they become a stakeholder scarcity, they redevelop conflicts of interest. So it is going to take time to work this out. But there is no physics saying what the limit of wireless or bandwidth is.

Claude Shannon is a mathematician who happened to do interesting math based on channels. For those in fist, it is like used closed thermal dynamics. Law has gone passed a lot of things we have expect. Once you have things as packets. One example I give, if ten people are sharing a hundred mega connections to get above the threshold they reach have a gigabit. You multiply the capacity by ten because the bursting nature of the Internet works very differently as they dynamically discover what they did with the resource. So a lot of the limits we assume don't apply.

We could have done a lot of Copper. You have a thousand Copper pairs, you had gigabits. This is an important way to understand a very different way of thinking than traditional telecom based on meta force of water flow and electricity usage. The Internet is a very different con September.

>> MODERATOR: Do you have --

>> Yeah, I would like to add something to this. And I agree with you in conceptual framework that you can connect to a lot of communities and then appear a new different kind of network, but the thing is, now we are faced in a world that this chief -- these two words are merging and compete asking the economic power that is on the side of mobile networks and the telecom world and they are going to take part of the critical resource these are important to the wireless community networks, and I am referring myself to the license spectrum. So that is why I think you're absolutely right from a conceptual framework but if we go to the ground to what is happening outside. We have to pay attention and to assure that you have the critical resources to put wireless community networks to work.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: I agree that we're going through this transition and there are going to be, you know, some issues. On the other hand, I view the carriers as my friends, in a sense.

For example, if I wire -- I'm not talking in the US because each Country varies a little. An apartment house and I want to reach a distance, turns out very inexpensive if I share a single business connection among all the people. So there is a make buy decision you can make there.

Now the other thing about wireless, you know, we don't really have to shout over distance. We have fibers, now, Copper and everything, so need very local radios, but I am very aware of the on-going battle between Wi-Fi and LTE right now, LTEU, but I also think we need new innovations in radios that ultra wide brand. There are a lot of techniques. So there might be some glitches along the way but I think the inexpiable force is economic. Even telephone companies are going over Wi-Fi now using the same IP techniques. At which point it is very hard for them to add value. So it is not that they're evil or anything, it is their economic model is changing and I think that is going to be more of the driver over the long-term than their ability to maintain. Because you can see the evidence in this as cable companies give up their facilities in the US Time Warner sold off time Warner cable which started to struggle. Comcast separated two parts of the Country and all the contents going over the top. So those changes are happening due to underlying forces. They're just economic and technical.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Bob.

I think Lee had a question or comment.

>> Lee: I have a question and an idea. I feel very much like the elephant in the room in this discussion because I am not technical but I understand the issues. If community networks are something which are emerging and need recognition and where they sit and Parminder's question was an interesting one. How do community networks fit with that, because if we understand that as being a talk for inclusion as a social safety net, we are talking about that for availability and affordability are basic communication services. Some countries have a universal service fund, too, you know. So I just wonder whether in the recognition or the emergence of community networks whether we need to do more to recognize them as something in that chain and therefore, once that happens it becomes income Ben on the state to do more to promote them and to ensure that they're carried in some respects.

It's a comment and a question, maybe I'm off base, but

I ask it.

Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: I think we have two comments. One there and on


>> AUDIENCE: Hi. Becky Lynch from Miguel University. We always end up digressing in these conversations to how things work or the legal ramifications so let me digress. I'm sorry I missed the first part.

When we talked about these different models of community networks this is something that was happening in the 90's when we first started doing these kind of things. What are the actual governance models? Are they social enterprises? Are they charities? Are they co-ops? And also to what extent do these link up with the common projects that are starting to immerge everywhere and is there a website where we can find information about these different models and how they are governed and to what extent the community runs and manages it? That would be really helpful.

>> MODERATOR: Excellent question. I think we had another comment or question here and then we can give a round of replies.

>> AUDIENCE: So I would like to play the devil's advocate and talk about costs.

Yes, I know Bob doesn't like cost.

What I think is that the cost is decreasing, thanks to Wi-Fi technology, but it will never reach zero and especially it will never reach zero. There is the electricity. When I bought my router it was 30 your oh. Submarine cable across the server room t administrator, everything. So there is cost. Somebody is going to pay for it. It can be more and more can be crowdsourced in a way so the crowd can pay more and more for their own devices but you will never reach the point where everything is paid by the crowd.

So the question is not only who pays for it, is it a state subsidy but also who is going to operate it and what is the operational model if you think beyond for a submarine cable owned and operated by the crowd? Is

this going to happen or -- so what about cost?

>> BOB FRANKSTON: I actually answer that question. So we have another word for the crowd. It is called government. In other words, that is a mechanism by which we coordinate crowds. So we pay for sidewalks, we pay for roads. We have a big present for paying for common in straw structure and pay for skill.

To answer the question about the community networks, you just pull your money at the scale you're interested in, your house, your village, the skate. The real question is not the cost; it is the value. The problem we have and a lot of people appreciate the value is above the cost. And as the cost goes down that becomes less of an issue and initially, yes, there is a hurdle to explain the value which is the good news is we can repurpose things and the Internet exists today but even a simple application like exchanging files, establishing value in the early days to drive that dynamic.

>> MODERATOR: Yes, Rita, please.

>> RITA: I'm glad to understand what are the operational models or what are the models which we are thinking about it.

So we have experimented with the various kind of models in India. So the model which Frederick was talking about was about how (Indiscernible) community have come up together ask they really wanted to be -- wanted this kind of a model. Wanted to have an Internet connectivity just to connect with the global market and just to connect with the national market because there were really having facing a problem that there were fix clouds in the market and the original cloud is in a storeroom and they were not able

to -- people were not buying it off because they were not able to reach the market. So that is something that the Harlem community has come up. Presently they have approximately 2000 designs spatters on their content which they have generated on their own.

And that something which the people have come up.

Another model what we have operationalize is open those kind of middle -- started making members from the committee members and trying to employ from community members to manage these things. That's where we have reduced the cost of the operation and the management cost.

So if you ask me who is managing the network? Again, that community member is managing the network. Who is going and setting up the tower? Again the community is going and setting up the tower? Who is doing day to day management services happening? Again, the community members are doing. We are just on the site of the monitoring of those networks that anything is legal, unethical or illegal is happening, then we can do cautions to them, but no, we are not doing anything in terms of managing operational.

And another model which we are trying to connect with the community wise is we have connected primary health centers, schools, and institutions which really want to have the connectivity. I can give you the example of what we have in India. There is -- we have an Internet provider BSL, (Indiscernible) private limited and truly speaking the background connectivity sometime it is not there. We don't -- we can't help it out because it's a government owned body and it's really that we are stuck sometimes. But sometimes people from another law in India is that institutions like government owned institutions can only avail Internet connecting services by that BSNL. They can't own by us. But people have come and people and institutions have come to us and they said, we want your services because of the quality of the service and the customization of the services. So the operation also depends on the quality of the services, need of the customer, as is what is the requirement of that specific community. So again, I will say it is a frugal model. You think about the community and then you devise a mechanism about the community need. That is the model we work around.

I'm not very sure that is another example which I can say. In fact, we -- all of community networks are working in silos, now is the high time to come together and double up something and educate something.

>> MODERATOR: Great invitation. I think we are already two comments there and then we will have some final remarks.

Do we have a roaming mic somewhere? Yes. Thank you.

>> AUDIENCE: Okay. My name is Raul Plumber, and I asked the question already, but since it was short and it wasn't answer, I will simply repeat it.

Could there be any international resource for building community driven mesh networks? For example, it is hard to get information about best practices, software and hardware solutions that work well for creating a community driven network. And I'll add that one incentive for building community driven mesh networks even in urban areas with fibrotic could be by fighting against mass surveillance and encrypt go all of your network.

>> MODERATOR: You're speaking about economic incentive and also policy incentive and let's say knowledge incentive, if you want, or need-based incentives.

>> AUDIENCE: Every.

>> MODERATOR: Okay. Every kind of incentive.

We have a comment from your colleague there.

>> AUDIENCE: I actually wanted to answer some of things that have been asked from our perspective if it is okay.

Regarding recognition that has been asked by a couple of people what's the status of legal recognition. It changes a lot from Country to Country. I was listening to the problems you're having in India with the legal status. Last year in Argentina there was a new telecommunications law that was passed in Congress. We participated in that with many other free cultural organizations and we tried to push for community networks and it was actually added to the text of the law that community networks must be promoted. It is just a single line, but it's there. So we can use that further.

And I think all community network organizations should try to participate in the debate, because as Bob said, that's the government is where the public is organized and the legal -- the legislative body is where we can participate and bring our opinions and we must not be afraid of that.

And, also, it was also asked, you, Bob, said that government should pay, like it pays for roads for the development of networks, but the problem is not only who pays for it, but who will use it and what is the framework for getting access to that infrastructure. It is usually common sense how roads will be used, but it is not common sense how networks will be used. Mostly from the perspective of community networks that are usually ignored. So that is a discussion we also need to have about we are here, we exist, and we should be taken into account when your networks come running near our towns.

The other thing is the EFF guy, sorry, I don't know your name, you were asking about models and best practices. Those Fray funk representative here also. There are world meetings organized every year that are not very well known, but all of us free network hackers, at least from Europe and America, join quite frequently and we share most of what we do as open source models and you can, if you want you can ask me later, but the mailing lists, for example where you can participate and you will have access there to ask -- to people from very different places, countries, models about what technology they are using. You can have recommendations and that exists and although we have been trying to create a federation of community networks from at least Europe and America, we haven't been able to do that yet, because the communities are full of hackers and we hackers don't very much like organizing. But we still want to do it, okay.

And just reach, I can give you information on where to contact the group, all these people.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks for all these comments. We have a

comment from Parminder, and then I will ask if the panelists

have any farther remarks.

Yeah, please, use it.

>> AUDIENCE: See, as I hear more, as you said, garment is a community and then you said that public, the universal funds have to be put in a relationship. I think this is a time for a mature of the community network movement which goes out of the realistic are important margins which define the horizons to a real movement which can provide universal connectivity ask that linkage has to be made.

However, I do understand and the question is right. Making rules are very easy and common sense equal to use, but the nature of the use of the backbone is a much complex thing. That is what I was saying. There are two kinds of problems here. One is the community infrastructure or the last line infrastructure part and the other is the backbone, have two different ownership approaches to two problems. Two parts of the problems. The community part we have spoken about a lot, and the backbone I think should be managed and that's a new thinking that it should be developed. Because most of the places it is managed by the government's authoritative body. We can certainly decide this content has to be proposed. If it is managed by an independent constitutional law or statutory commission which defines those things which you were asking have to be defined how the network be can be used which is a public interest, neutral manner, et cetera, those things are given, and that becomes a regular model for all countries to follow. I think that combination would be useful, and I agree that it is the time to develop kind of a group, international group to start talking about this.

>> MODERATOR: That's an excellent idea, and maybe an idea for a dynamic coalition on community networks.

So I would ask -- by the way, if anyone is interested in such project, we could try to gather some names and Email addresses to try to put together some project.

So, concluding remark, because we are running out of time.

>> BOB FRANKSTON: Just a very short answer.

The point I made earlier, once things are anonymous packets a lot of these management questions become much simpler because there isn't the opportunity to second guess the traffic. And I think this is a grand simplification of the Internet which turns all of these resources into a common pool and is the vehicle toured abundance. Again, that is the key.

I can go into detail.

>> MODERATOR: Rita, do you have any other -- does anyone have any other remark?

Does anyone? No. Anyone.

Okay. So we are perfectly on time. Sorry.

Rita, sorry, you have a point.

>> RITA: When we talk about the community wireless networks we should always think about the community. That is something we should think about when we are thinking about community wireless networks. Okay.

So back in 30 years it is absolutely a problem that I can relatively relate with Parminder right now because we are also facing the same kind of problem, but then again the solution comes when you start working on it and you start working on the community, those kinds of things, you try to work under some kind of innovations, try to generate it and you come up with a solution.

In terms of (Audio pause).

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for this. This is an excellent way of concluding this workshop.

So I would like to thank you for both the panelists and the other participants for the very interactive and high level discussion.

Thank you very much for this. It has been very inspiring, and let's hope to build some further initiative together.

Thank you very much.


>> MODERATOR: If anyone wants to leave his Email address to build some product together, here is the pen and the paper feed.

Panel concluded.