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IGF 2018 - Day 2 - Salle X - APC GISWatch Launch

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, France, from 12 to 14 November 2018. 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. 

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              >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Good afternoon, everyone. If I could ask the authors to sit in the front row around the table so when I ask for authors to speak, I will be able to identify you. Thank you.

      Could everyone please take their seats?  I would appreciate it.

     Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to room number 10, and thank you all for joining us for the Global Information Society Watch Book Launch 2018, Special Watch on Community Networks.

      We will be starting with a welcome ‑‑ well, first of all, my name is Kathleen Diga. I was the GIS Watch coordinator for 2018, along side Raksana Vasi, who I believe might be online remotely, and I will be helping to moderate the session.

      We have our remote Moderator Sebastian Becker‑Castallero, so anyone who is participating remotely, we welcome you as well. If there are any authors who are remotely participating, they can also let us know that they're online and participating.

      We will start with a welcome and a presentation on the broader Global Information Society Watch Project from our ‑‑ from Chad Garcia Ramillo, for Progressive Communication, our executive director. Can I hand it over to you?

     >> CHAD GARCIA RAMILLO:  This is the 12th edition. It's been massive, this undertaking. We were not so as informal ‑‑ we never had such a formal room, I have to say, but, look, this is really ‑‑ I want to welcome the community who have been with us for the last 12 years and also friends who are here today. We're really happy that you can join us.

      Now, the Global Information Society Watch 20 started in 2007. It was really an attempt for us to look at monitoring the implementation of agreements that was made at the world summit on information society. We have had a number of themes ranging from access to libraries, to sexual, gender, climate change. These themes have come out of really the concerns of civil society, and it is that we want to bring diverse civil society views in relation to looking at what has been done, what is being done, what is not being done, what are the issues, what is it that we need to look out for?

      It's a very important contribution. We believe in really monitoring the implementation of agreements. Especially, from a policy framework.

      We do have a very diverse community of writers, authors who bring these perspectives, and we're very thankful for that collaboration.

      I just want to let you know that since 2007, let me get my statistics straight, we've had 510 country reports on 15, 16, and I think there's some special edition, so it would have been about 23 different topics. Quite an achievement, I believe.

      This year's theme of community networks is an addition to that, and we will talk about that a bit more. Also this year, we released a ten‑year sort of like a review of GISWatch, and written by Alan Finley, who is our editor and we would like to thank, also, Alan, who is not with us here.

      It provided an overview of trends in civil society, and in a way it's sort of like also looking at ourselves as an assessment so that it will help us also think more about how do we want to move ‑‑ how do we want to shape the Global Information Society to be much more effective.

      Really, I just want to welcome you all and thank you for being here and especially to our authors who really contributed for this year's edition, and also to thank the IDIC, the International Development Research Center of Canada for their support for APC and our partners community network process and for this edition.

      Thank you very much.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you, Chad, for that introduction. I will now hand over the microtone to our manager for the communications and information policy program at APC, Valeria Betancourt. She will be providing an overview of the 2018 edition.
     >> VALERIA BETANCOURT:  Thank you, Kathleen. As was mentioned, we look forward every year to the launching event of GISWatch, and this year is of particular relevance. We are quite excited about it. I hope that you all have in your hands the copy of the GISWatch.

      One year ago we started by assuming the community networks, our initiatives built, manage, operated by members of our community participatory and open monitor. We wanted to take that as a starting point, a working mission, to be able to take a little bit more and to have a deeper comprehension of what the technical, the social, the political, the sustainability, financial, and also the challenges and particularities of these initiatives, of these community networks.

      We also wanted to better understand what the necessary circumstances, including obviously the regulatory circumstances are for enabling the development, the strengthening, the scaling of these initiatives because based on the community networks that are a quite viable model.  Perhaps the most viable model to provide affordable connectivity to unserved areas, and also, based on the conviction that they can truly contribute to achieve digital inclusion.

      That added motivation behind this edition it's role not only locally, nationally, but also how they are actually building a national and regional movement around the value that this community brings to the localities.

      This edition is a combination of thematic reports and chapters. In terms of thematic reports it provides the evolution of community networks. In addition, you will find here chapters that have to do with the technology that community networks have. And the leader frameworks in which community networks should exist and flourish. Also, sustainability that goes to the networks. The role that community networks play in the broader access system as well, and I'm sure you will find what it means the feminist structure and giving the community an ability to look at diversity and how we approach also issues about agency.

      Not less important, you will also find a chapter on how community networks change the paradigm of culture‑sharing, how we share culture and how we create local content.

      I'm sure you will also find it fascinating to read about the interplay of the narratives that are embedded in the community networks and the power relations they contain and produce, as well as the need to transform them in a way that counteracts conditions to not perpetrate inequality at the level of the community.

      I want to mention that some of these reports go on research that has been conducted in the framework of our two‑year project and implemented by the Association for Progress and Communication in collaboration with Internet Society and with the support of the IDRC, as was mentioned. You can see that in this edition it consolidates that research as well.

      You will find 43 country reports covering a wide range of countries, like Georgia, Nepal, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Honduras, Portugal, Germany, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The reports tell us about the reality in which community networks exist in a variety of context and countries. The countries will illustrate.

      You will see the diversity of these realities and also the different objectives they respond in political and practical terms. You will find the community that has been adopted to manage and how they relate to cell determination in terms of how they connect to the outside world, but also how they use technology to respond to a specific local development and practice needs.

     When going over the report, I'm sure that you will confirm that the community networks are deferring their motivations. They also defer in their purposes, their policies, the size, their scope, their motives; and we really believe this edition sets a good basis in the direction the community networks are moving us to.

      Overall, we believe that the thematic reports and ‑‑ reports deepen the understanding of the issues that are critical for the development and the strengthening of the global movement of community networks and the value of this edition is that it only ‑‑ it not only addresses the various aspect that I have already mentioned, but also, provides some substantive hints to understand actual and the potential collective power of community to bring about social change.

      I think that's where the value of this lies. We are very ‑‑ we're going to be very happy to receive your feedback, your comments on how useful you believe it's going to be.

      And let me just close, I'm from Ecuador, and one of the reports is from ‑‑ it's providing a very small community network in the country, and I was very struck by the words also of this report that had stated that our network succeeds because we want it to exist. We build it. We maintain it. We used it. Sometimes we break it. We argue about it. We insult it when it goes slower than we like or cuts off entirely, and we get frustrated about it. Mostly, it works, and we are thankful.

      Let me close with words of the Ecuadorian report.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you very much, Valeria. Thank you for providing an overview of the issues that will be covered as you go through the report and providing the summary of the regional and national reports.

      I would like to now move on to acknowledge some of the authors who are here at the IGF. There have been quite a few workshops in the last two days, and the third day tomorrow, that speak to community networks, and I think we take a bit to learn about each of them here and their chapter.

     I will ask Carlos Rey‑Moreno to start us off, as he was one of the authors of the introduction. I will ask authors to raise their hand, and I will ask them to state their name and the name of their country and a few words about their chapter or what's meant for them to produce this chapter. If I could first hand it over to Carlos for the first introduction
     >> CARLOS REY‑MORENA:  I've learned quite a lot from the process of this book. I've learned that ‑‑ I'm one of the co‑authors. Alejandro also contributed to a chapter in the room. The first thing I didn't know is it's about community networks that predate the internet. We call this chapter "The Rise and Fall and Rise of Community Networks" because in the 1980s there were quite a lot of systems, but then in the 1990s there were very few of them, because the internet came, and most of them couldn't keep up with the technology and the models.

     Then at the beginning of the century again, with something that one company did, The Open Source Software, that forced them to release that software and allowed many people to start playing around with the router and creating the beginning of mass networks, of tweaking and hacking this hardware and creating networks and planning new antennas and extending connectivity from wherever it was.

     Then continue into 2000s, the paradigm of them being the only one to provide connectivity took over. A lot of the networks couldn't keep up, and some of them stopped their operations. Some of them still operate since those days, but they are ‑‑ most of them also disappear.

     Now we are back in the last four or five years where there's a whole rebirth. Especially lately, where the mobile network paradigm has kind of plateaued, and there are signs that it's not going to be able to connect more ‑‑ many more people than the ones that are connected already. There is quite a lot of interest, and all the sessions of this year IGF and last year IGF and many conferences all over, they're being recognized as a paradigm that can actually connect them, connect it affordably, and allow communities to actually provide and still provide access to themselves.

      Yeah, I think it was very interesting to learn about this story. I think we are now at the moment where I think community networks can make it so they don't fall again. I think the knowledge and the resources that we are all putting into this to make this happen, to support different organizations that are trying and taking this model forward. There is quite a lot of proof that they can be sustainable. There is quite a lot of proof that they contribute to a lot of the sustainable development goals. Not only about employment. There are connections with policy. They are opening frameworks that we talk about yesterday.

      I think there is an opportunity for them to be sustained and don't fall again, and I think it's on all of us to make that happen. Thank you for coming and for learning about this topic.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you, Carlos. I wonder if any of the co‑authors of the introduction would like to add to that.

      Okay. I would then move to the other thematic authors. Let's have Leandro speak on his chapter on the technologies
     >> LEANDRO:  We find in that chapter that there are many options today. All technologies that enable communication have been explored by community networks and using them in ways that maybe were predicted or not.

      It's nice. And using the trendy terms of generations, we find the speeds on the range of megabits for second, or 3G or 4G networks, wired and wireless. Now there are already appearing some fiber‑based and even wireless‑based 5G networks, which are run on different speeds.

      You will find mentions, of course, of WI‑FI‑based wireless networks. Also, you will find some support for mobility, mobile access, options for fiber networks. So there are many possibilities you can combine for the access.

     Also, in the article we mentioned, like, hardware options, software options, and in general in importance of openness to enable communities to experiment, to find out, to adopt them, to localize them, to use it and, finally, work to enable everyone to connect themselves, which is the right point.

      There are many details, but this is kind of an overview of the scheme of the article. 

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you, Leandro. I'm going through the schematic authors for this party in order, and then I'll ask the country authors or region authors to also then speak and ask them to raise their hand.

      The next author in the thematic reports is Eric. Hi
     >> ERIC:  Thank you. I'm very happy to be here and very happy of having this document brought on. Well, the richness of the document is amazing.

      We are two organizations that support presenting community networks, mainly in Mexico and Latin America, and one of the ideas of building this chapter, this chapter is part of for a deeper study that we have finished just three weeks ago.

      This was an introductory part of attending one of the main needs for the community networks. That is, what should be the regulation of community networks? The main question sometimes was do we need a license, or do we ‑‑ or don't we need a license? When do we need a license? What should we do?

     There are questions that only the community networks for itself, and the government does. It's a study at the beginning of deeper study that wants to help either community networks the first part is the legal nature of community networks, and then we find that while there are community networks that actually the legal system ‑‑ they work as a private network. I mean, they actually are community networks, but sometimes the legal system doesn't recognize that sort of thing, but they can fit in the box of private networks.

      Sometimes they don't even need a license, because people are just organizing by themselves. It could be similar to the people that have interconnection in a building and doesn't need a license.  Sometimes they need and ‑‑ well, in this chapter, you can see when they need a license.

      I encourage you to write the chapter, but on the book too, and also, to pay attention to the document that have just been finished and was presented by ISOC, and we already have it in our website as part of this study. It's not only the legal nature of the community network. Also, the fundamental rights that are in the national legal system for community networks and a study of the regulation in Latin America community network.

      With this package we hope that each people in their countries can negotiate with your government to develop around regulation.

      Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you, Eric, and also for giving us a bit more exposure around the legal frameworks and the other work that is ongoing from this book, Chapter for Legal Frameworks and Community Networks.

      Can I please ask Steve to then speak on community networks and telecommunication regulation?

     >> STEVE:  Thanks, Kathleen. History of telecommunications regulation is rooted in technology and investment on a scale that could only be conceived of by governments. Millions and millions of dollars poured into national networks that were in the strategic national interests of governments, but which it was something that you couldn't depend on the private sector to invest in.

     That has slowly changed to the point where now the private sector also builds out these kinds of large scale national, international networks.

      We have gone through another change now in the last, say, 10 to 15 years where instead of having to build every aspect of the network as a telecommunications operator, the international black hole, the national black hole, middle mile, last mile, handsets, which was, you know, typically if you wanted to enter a market, that's what you have to solve. You have to solve all of those problems.

      Now those are becoming disaggregated, and the ability to deliver, you know, state‑of‑the‑art telecommunications services by a small operator is now within reach of anyone. It will be shared without disadvantaging anyone.

      The cost of wireless technologies, which connect the last mile, has gone from $250,000 to build a base station down to a few thousand dollars to build a GSM or an LTE‑based station. WI‑FI infrastructure that has gone from a commodity device that might be deployed in a home or in a hotel is now delivering broadband infrastructure of hundreds of megabits and gigabits per second over kilometers for a few thousand dollars.

      Now we live in a world where anyone with a modest amount of resources and some ambition can build their own commercial ‑‑ not commercial, but professional internet infrastructure.

      However, the regulatory frameworks are largely stuck in that age when large scale monolithic telecos were the thing that needed to be regulated and managed. What we need now is a shift in regulation that recognizes the potential for communities, for municipalities, for individuals to build their own infrastructure and create an enabling environment for them to flourish.

      We've seen amazing stories this year of community networks that have thrived largely in spite of the regulatory environments they exist in. What we need now is basically a big bag of, sort of, you know, fertilizer now to help them to grow further.

     Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you, Steve. We will now move to Nikola Bidwell who has a chapter entitled, Community Networks, Stories and Power.
     >> NIKOLA BIDWELL:  Hi. So my chapter is preliminary analysis of the five of the six rural community networks in the global south that I studied this year as part of the local access project. That's in my role as social and gender impact facilitator. I went to more areas after the chapter was finished.

      The chapter is an analysis, a very preliminary analysis of over 220 people that I interviewed in focus groups or individually, some of whom are here. Many, many others aren't.

      I pick out some narratives that repeated in the community networks, and suggest that if we think ‑‑ reflect among those, how they reproduce some power relations that we possibly don't want to reproduce, and by thinking about it, how we can inspire new kinds of meanings that benefit community networks for all their members and for all their users, and for all the people that don't currently use them, but could. I'm just going to pick out a few of them here. One of them is the value of human connectedness.  Often we're so busy arguing about how our community network benefits development and sustainability and all sorts of other things that we need to argue the case for, we don't think that human connectedness has an intrinsic worth.

      Another narrative looks at the skills that are involved in community networks and that we're sometimes hidden or we don't look at how important they are. These often, the way that we hide them or don't think about them, inherits from the telecommunications narrative that we're trying to avoid in the first place.

      In particular, some coordinative skills and some of the smaller physical and care work that we often participate in the community network, but isn't quite so heroic as running up a tower or setting up a satellite.

      The final narrative is I would like to provoke people to think about what we think about in the network. We tend to think of it as a static thing with nodes and things in place that don't move along. A community network emerges out of that process of going along, and I think that final narrative of networks rather than networks can actually be very useful for us to recreate new meanings and to recognize that we don't have to inherit all of these narratives from telecommunications and from development speak. The meetings are local and different places in the world, in different communities in the world, have different takes on what autonomy means, what self‑determination means, what emancipation means. Thinking about that can give life to those things and make our networks more resilient because they reflect that.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you very much, Nick. I will now move on to Debra Praddel, and she'll be presenting a short discussion on feminist infrastructure and community networks
     >> DEBRA PRADDEL:  It's great to talk after Nick because I believe our chapters are connected somehow. In our chapter, we are five women authors, and we consider that the operation of the community network implies relationship between multiple individuals and groups that are not effected at the same way by social technical systems.

     We want to consider all the knowledge that we have produced about feminist infrastructure and what feminist technologies should think to get together and think what's changed when you make a community network considering a feminist infrastructure, a feminist perspective, and how can we make our community networks more diverse and more welcome and safe for different groups and people? That was our main interest.

      We went with this and think beyond digital inclusion, but also think the autonomy and agents and women agents especially. We look at the experience in Brazil. One of them is in "House of Boys," in free translation. That's a bad name because it's a community network managed by women.

      In the south of San Palo City, it's an amazing experience in Brazil managed by women. We look for the author that writes this part. It's Diana. That's one of the women in management of this community network.

     We look to Fukisho and Karla who wrote this part. It's a portable device made by Brazilian women. It's a heavy adaptation of a box, and we consider it as a feminist network of a single writer.

      And considering that, the spectrum technology is also a community network, and Bruno was involved in making this experience in our chapter.

      Looking for the whole experience, we noticed that when we want to build a more diverse community network, we have to plan the time and the matter and consider this difference and consider it local knowledge and local data life as she was speaking and considered the difference that they are in grassroots.

     We also want to pay attention to bring something in the feminist movements that don't use women as a label to raise our difference, and we want to avoid that community network to become a label to erase difference and power relations in internal experience. That is it.

     It was a great experience to us to exchange our view and to have the opportunity to bring together so many authors and so many different experiences and try to find some commons and try to offer some perspectives and how to make our network more welcome to women especially, but also, consider gender, race, class, and another intersection of difference.

     Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA: He is presenting on the challenge of local content in community networks.
     >> NICOLAS: Sorry about that. Okay. So I'm Nicolas from Argentina. We wrote this chapter on local content. It was quite a challenge. It was very interesting for us to be invited to talk about this matter.

      We focused a bit on the history of what we have been doing in community networks regarding local content over the years.

      We think that the things have changed from the internet where we started from the internet we have now, and one of the changes that impacts more in what we are doing is that if we look at the process, if we look at the internet divided in levels, like we talk here in the chapter about the physical layer, logical layer, and the cultural layer, we discuss about how in the current state community networks are deploying in the physical layer. They are deploying infrastructure, so we are getting communication to the homes with infrastructure, and people are also in some way participating in what we call the cultural layer.

     They have their groups, and they talk about their political fights on Facebook and other platforms.  We don't have control over that, and it's an interesting fight.  It's like, what are we doing about that? I heard many times people from different places that are deploying community networks, and they sometimes stop to think are we just bringing more junk food to our communities?  No?

     What are we doing to reverse this? How do we work to reverse this? In this chapter we do a parallel with food production. If we were ‑‑ if we were producing food and we lost control of one of the layers of the technology layer. Okay.  If they were controlled by an external concentrated agent, we would not accept this in our fight for sovereignty.  We would fight against this.

      But with community networks, we are not so clear about it.  No?  We need to put more thought, more resources, and more work on recovering this layer and creating, again, recreating our tools in this new scenario.

     Okay.  Thanks.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you very much, Nico.  We'll move to the country and regional chapters, region chapters.  If authors can raise their hand, because I don't know each and every one of you, and you'll have a chance to state your name, organization, country, or region, and a few words about your chapter.

     Can I have some of the hands of the authors?  Okay.  Let's start this side.  One, two, and Peter.  Okay.  Three.  Okay.  Julian.
     >> JULIAN CASSAS‑BUENAS:  My name is Julian Cassas‑Buenas.  I'm an APC member.  We wrote a chapter for Columbia on community management for the deployment of community networks.

     This was written with Lillian, who maybe most of you know, especially from Latin America.  She has been very active in coordinating the community networks project in Coronado, and also in collaboration with Oliver, which is also a partner from our organization.

     The chapter describes what's the situation in Columbia with community networks, and we describe also what's the legal status at this moment, access to spectrum, and how are we facing the difficulties especially for accessing spectrum for cellular community networks.

      We want to replicate the model from Mexico, and we have been experiencing difficulties in having the permission to use a small range of spectrum for this kind of networks.

     We also describe other experiences of community networks in Columbia, like Bogota, Network Bogota, and we focus a bit in the experience that we are doing with the support of organizations, like Internet Society, and the work that we have been doing with a Ministry of Communications and National Spectrum Agency in how to deal with the difficulties of building community networks in a legal framework.

     We also propose some action steps based on these experiences, and those are related, the importance of the participation of the community itself in design, implementation and operation of the model.

     Also, the use of different technologies.  In the work we are working with city‑wide spaces as well in setting up the internet, and also to continue pressing the government in the region because there are a lot of commitments from the governments.

     For instance, implement pallets to prove what's the need in changing of regulation and to get information about how can this regulation can be in favor of this kind of projects.

     Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thanks very much.  Okay.  Next author on my left.  If we can please keep it to one minute each, because we are getting short on time, and we have ten authors to go through.  Thank you
     >> PRISHEIM:  Hi, I'm Prisheim.  I'm from the chapter from Taiwan.  I'm from Internet Education and Research Laboratory from Institute of Technology.

     We talk about deployment in the province.  Our motivation is to allow the local people to access the internet use with the lower affordable costs.  They can have access to the digital content on the internet.

     Today we brought one of our key persons on the local area.  He is sitting right there.  Yes.  And so that's a lot of contribution from many population to ethnic foundation, and I would like to build this community and what could happen.

      I want to thank them also.  Okay.  Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you very much. Okay, Peter, I think, raised his hand
     >> PETER:  Hello. I'll be presenting the chapter about Mexico, written by myself and Carlos Baca‑Feldman, as a researcher, and also Mariana, who is an indigenous community member from Ravas.

      We lay out the work from three different projects. One is a federated community project. It's building decentralized cellular infrastructure together with communities. We also talk about the internet project that some folks are doing, and specifically talk about the cell tower community and Chapas, and that's where Mariano is from, and that's how they're thinking about similar things to what Nico is saying. How to create a network and that also serves the interest of the community as well as allowing people to access the open internet.

      We also talk about the tech training program, which a bunch of us have been running for the last year.  The first group of graduates basically the idea there was for folks from indigenous communities to be able to increase their skills around technological aspects of networking. Also, sort of doing deeper thinking about what the purpose of the networks would be and so on.

      I guess I will leave it there.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thanks, Peter.  Other authors who are here, raise your hand.  Okay.  We have one, two, three.  We'll start there.
     >> This is ‑‑ we wrote the chapter for Catalonia. It's about a community network that has some hundreds of notes, active notes. We combine Wi‑Fi and fiber.  What we did in our chapter is to analyze a policy economics and political background, and we then focus on how we scale from tens of nodes to tens of thousands of nodes.  We have identified some key aspects.

     The first is to the finishing of the objectives and goals.  Our goal is to produce ‑‑ to build a stable network for production network.  So we care about performance, users, support, et cetera, and then we analyze the concept of common resource to help us to reach these goals, and this is connected to the government of common goods, and this is ‑‑ there is a lot of knowledge gathered that is very useful for us.

     Then we just conclude with a specific success story about the deployment of a fiber network across an entire country in the north of Catalonia, which has been very successful, and it's something I think it's worth to explain.  That's it.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you.  I think we have Maureen next.
     >> MAUREEN HERNANDEZ:  Thank you.  My name is Maureen Hernandez.  I'm from Venezuela.  I'm presenting a case that's not very successful.  Even when we have managed to deploy connectivity trials, and we have worked with ISOC for that.  It's very difficult to work in this environment.  Community networks are in itself different from any others we are to have in very different constraints.

     We have divided the article into three main sections, which it's the economic issues, and it's a policy framework, and at last about the freedom of expression policy framework that it's also playing a key role into the connectivity.

     At the end we make a public call to the regulators and to the public policy that's working in the country to work with us and to help us develop these networks, which are incredibly necessary in a country with infrastructural crisis.

     Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Next author, please.
     >> TALAND:  Thank you very much.  My name is Taland.  I'm from Kyrgyzstan.  In Kyrgyzstan, there's a small landlocked mountainous country in central Asia.  Over 90% of our territory is above 1,000 meters, so we have many villages in the mountains which are not connected to the internet because it's really costly to bring fiber.  It's not only the terrain, but also the seasonality.

     Half the year it's snow, and sometimes villages are cut off from access to civilization.  We chose one location that's a tourist place in the summer, and curious people like to spend a summer there to drink horse milk and to live in nomad.  It's a good tourist destination.

     Residents in the summer cannot advertise their services so, they call their relatives in the capital to tell them that we have this place where we can stay in the winter.

     Because of the season, often kids don't have access to knowledge.  I think thanks to this community network that we are still building, hopefully the situation will improve there.  One interesting lesson we also learned is it wasn't our first choice.  One place we wanted to build community network, the incumbent operator did not have plans to build fiberoptic there, but once they learned that we are trying to launch a community network, they suddenly became very active and brought internet.  It was good that we got two connected with our efforts.

     I would like to thank ISOC for supporting us.  We got inspired by the network participants in Guadalajara and later on from Georgia, and someone from India came all the way to Kyrgyzstan to train us.  It was a very supportive team that is helping us launch this project.

     Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you.  Can I have hands of authors who have not spoken?  Okay.  We have one, two, and Renata.  We have John, Rich, and Renata. Okay.
     >> JONH:  My name is John from Nigeria, and I wrote the chapter titled The Rehabilitation of a Community Network in War‑Torn Northern Nigeria.  I think that chapter illustrates two crucial points.  One is the resilience of a community network, and, two, is the changing face of the regulatory system in community networks.

     The first community network was established in 2007.  And by 2011 weather, most of this infrastructure was destroyed through Boca Haram, which a lot of you have probably heard about. 

     A lot has changed in terms of technology, in terms of the regulatory authorities. The authority that gave us permission in 2007 wasn't the same. It was to give us an approval when we went back this time.  We didn't know that until a long time.  The other thing was the community that is directly effected by the insurgency that knows what it has lost. That suggests loss of lives, loss of property, destruction of infrastructure. It is only that community that can actually initiate a return to some semblance of normality.

      This rural community so far away from government, but they want to wait until government initiative of reconstruction reaches them.  They'll never get anywhere.  Community network came in quite handy.

     Fortunately, they hope from which the original community network was developed, we're still active.  It still had its routers.  It still had the power.  It was largely solar panel with some generator backup, and it had expertise still available because one of the consequences of the insurgency was the loss of critical manpower.  People who survived insurgency relocated to several communities to live.

     Our role as an organization has been this rebuilding of capacity and then renegotiating for the relevant permission from the authorities.  Because we didn't know that the authority has changed. We were knocking on the wrong door for almost six months before we realize that we really should be talking to another authority.  So it isn't a question of malice by the authorities.  There's been a change of system.  It was very disposed to supporting the circles now, and, in fact, the last information I had heard was that they are also more favorably disposed to creating access to the space. 

     For us this report of APC or from the African Union to insure that the community network in our area is getting resuscitated, and it's beginning to yield some good results. 

     Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you, John.
     >> Thank you, APC, for inviting us, and for putting us inside of the book.  What can I say?  It was very crucial.  It was very important for this latest society.  It's another application inside of ‑‑ they have nine stakeholders, private sectors.  One is Teleco, and it's giving some access, and what's most important, we have some governmental funding for community network. I think it's maybe interesting for other colleagues.

     Thank you very much.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you, Renata.
     >> RENATA:  My chapter is about the Caribbean region, and on the collective that's pressed, you can check some of the projects related to it.  In the countries that form their part of this chapter are Barbados, Dominiqua, Ryania, and Grenadine and Puerto Rico. 

     I, myself, am from the Brazilian region and, work on the region and a member of the block chain chapter, the other participants of this team.

      We have had community networks in different stages of implementation, and we had hurricanes.  We had several situations that made the community networks being implemented and re‑implemented again or be moved to other places.  It was an extensive time of experience, and I hope others can identify how to do community networks in a natural catastrophe scenario.

     Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you, Renata. Can I have hands of authors that remain?  We have one, two, and three.  Two in the back may need to come forward to the microphones in the front if theirs doesn't work.  We'll start with you.
     >> EDUARDO:  Hi, everybody. My name is Eduardo.  I represent Honduras and the Internet Society under the chapter.   First of all, I would like to thank Internet Society for providing us the funds to deploy the network.

      Also, especially Nicolas for all the support he provided us during the deployment for planting a seed after the conference in Panama last year.  It was a challenge since it was our first experience deploying a community network.  We've had a lot of experience working with communities, and we tried to work a lot with migrants in the past, but this was our first experience with actual networks.

      From our experience, the community network only highlighted the existing strong community bond that was already in the community, which I think is the vital part for a successful community network, and we close with a statement that I would like to repeat because I think it could echo strongly in these walls, which is the internet cannot really be considered a global community unless every community is represented in it.

    Community networks can close the digital divide and finally make the internet the global community we want it to be.

     Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIAS:  Thank you, Eduardo. We have Vasilas from Greece. Yes.
     >> VASILAS:  Hi, all.  My name is Vasilas. I am from Greece from the GR Community Network.  It is a network that provides internet connectivity to 11 remote isolated villages in Greece.  Started back in 2008 by a company of guys who felt that ‑‑ who just realized that their village did not have internet connectivity, and they decided to do a critical question.  What can we do about this?

    This was a group of young guys that have no idea about what community network is, how to build one, but they have the willingness to help and to do something about their village, and this is how it all started.

      We are feeling more and more close to the Global Community Networks thanks to all of you guys and thanks to our participation and the help that we've received from ISOC and others.  Three basic ingredients have helped us develop our community network, which is infrastructure, the building of the local community, and the education and training of local citizens, local stakeholders.  This is what we are laying down in our description of our chapter.  Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGA:  Thank you very much.  Where did that other author ‑‑ yes, please.
     >> Actually, my colleague wrote the chapter, but since she's not here, I thought I will speak on her behalf.

      Community networks in ‑‑ you know the chapter has covered the last eight or nine years.  We had started in 2009 with the help of Internet Society, and we have continued in eight phases in the last nine years.  Various phases of taking community networks in various parts of the country.  Unfortunately, India has about 600,000 villages.  Perhaps we need as many networks, as many community networks.

     We can build expertise in the technical community within the village and within the community who can look after the networks. The second thing we announce is public WI‑FI system for all of the countries, so they are now going into 50,000 and plus number of villages, which have Wi‑Fi hot spots, and the third thing is that they have also released some banks on five megahertz, and that's very interesting.

     If you are going to get connected in a village, you will get connected in any village you go.  They're integrating with all the telecos.

     The fourth good thing is that government has decided to go in all the villages with the broadband and further allowing with various people to take the connectivity and distribute.

      You know, it's being said and, you know, being implemented but not really going forward in a very strong manner, but what we are seeing is that what we need in India is a scale of community networks, and that is the need of the time.

     Thank you.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  Thank you very much.  Any other authors who would like to speak?  Okay.  Renata, you would like to speak again?

     >> RENATA:  I was told I have to speak again because there was a glitch ‑‑ a technical glitch.  Sorry, everyone.

      I am Renata.  My chapter is in the Caribbean region.  The Latin America and Caribbean community technical connectivity inspired on the DC‑free.  We had the following members of the task force.  Rodney Taylor from the Barbados Chapter and Talea from the Trinidad and Tobego Chapter.  Lisa Richards from the Rihanna Chapter, and Willis Williams from Grenadine and the Puerto Rico Chapter.

      Our community networks are in various different stages of implementation, and most of them were in six items of countries, and were effected by hurricanes and other natural catastrophes.  It could be a good resource for those in the same situations.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  Okay.  Thanks very much.  I think at this time we can open up to the floor if there are any participants that would like to pose a question to one of the authors or either in the country, region, or thematics.  I open the floor up.  You can raise your hand.  I'll take the first three.

      Okay.  It appears everyone is speechless and just blown away with this excellent edition, which is great.  What I would like to do then is ‑‑

     >> There is a question in the back there.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  Sorry.  Okay.  There is a question.  If you can speak in the mike, your name and your organization.  Yes.  I think the microphones are working in the inner circle.  You'll need to step forward
     >> Hello. This is ‑‑ I'm technically blown away by the communication.  Thank you very much.  My question is, are there any plans to keep this updated, as this will hopefully be growing more?  What are the plans?

     >> You're pointing to me, I don't know why, to answer.  No, I'm just ‑‑ GISWatch has different things every year.  It will ‑‑ it could be a special edition, but I think that one of the things that might come out of this would be that there would definitely be a lot more things to document, I would say, and to write about.

     I'm pretty sure that something will come out.  In what form and when and where, I have no idea at the moment.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  In regards to that, this is part of a larger project, local access project, and ongoing research is being done and research outputs will come out of this being one of the research outputs.  Maybe not in the form of GISWatch, but in other forms.
     >> I have a question online.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  Sebastian has a question from online.
     >> He wants to talk about ‑‑ can you listen to me? Can you speak right now? It seems that it's not working.  Yeah.  Let me ‑‑

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  Perhaps the speaker can ‑‑ the remote participant can type out their question and then we can have an opportunity to answer it.

     >> Yes, I will try.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  Thanks, Sebastian.  Is there anyone else that would like to make a comment, who is here on site?

     Okay.  In the meanwhile, hopefully we can get the remote participant to speak, but what we would like to do is the editions will be available online on WWW.GISwatch.org/communitynetworks.  Carlos, you're raising your hand.  Is there something you would like to say?  Go ahead.
     >> Carlos:  To be in relation to the world that Karla and Luca have been doing ‑‑ and Carlos.  In 2016 I did a map of community networks in Africa, and I put all the content on Wikipedia with my colleague, Michael Huff.  Maybe that's something that they can do, and maybe that's something that we can easily do from this chapter just to add them to the Wikipedia entry on community networks around the world.

     I think it takes some maintenance, you know, going and updating which ones will still update and what's the level of data and that we want to include all of them, but if it's just name and website, maybe that could be something.  I don't know how far you've gone to the Latin American one.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  Please, Eric.  Go ahead
     >> Eric:  Regarding that question, this side that is in our website.  I'm showing on that website.  We will try to keep the information for Latin America at least, and the idea is, like, we ‑‑ it's part of the regulatory part, and also the economic and sustainable part of it.  Also, experiences that cases that people want to review could be there, so that's would be maintained indefinitely.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  Valeria
     >> Valeria:  Just announced that we are going to be collaborating with our member to do a comparative reflection not comparative.  A reflection of the Latin American reports of GISwatch from a rights perspective this year to be able to contribute to the section dealing with access of the ‑‑ it's a publication that is going to be presented at the Internet Freedom Forum in Valencia.  That's another use of the report that we will do, and we'll be liaising with the authors of the chapters to be able to use that content in that way.

     >> KATHLEEN DIGAS:  Let me go back to Sebastian to see if he was able to reach our remote participant.  Okay. Unfortunately, not. At this time I just want to also acknowledge the GISwatch Advisory Team, who were integral for spending their time to help us produce this project.  We would also like to thank ISOC, Jane Coughlin, and Asani Muller, who assisted us with the interviews in two book chapters and helping them to prepare their chapters.

     I hope all of you have a chance to have a copy of the book where we've distributed them, and I think there's still a few more, so if you haven't picked up a copy, feel free to pick up a copy as well as some of our previous editions.  At the APC booth we also have USB sticks, which have all of the additions of the GISwatch for the last 12 annual editions.

      Feel free to stop by the booth to pick that up.  We also have a few here if you would like to have a USB.  We would like to invite you all to the APC party this evening.  You can get information at the booth about that.

     Just in closure, I would like to thank you all, the speakers, the authors for creating this edition, being part of the conversation.  That's happening at the IGF around community networks. Carlos mentioned the rise, the fall, and the rise of community networks in the chapter, and hopefully this will be the point where they can make it and not fall again.

      On that note, I would like to close, and thank you all for participating.

 

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