Support to 11 community networks in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe

2017 was the first year of the “Local Access Networks: Can the unconnected connect themselves?” project, which we implemented in partnership with APC member organisation Rhizomatica, from Mexico, and the Internet Society (ISOC), with the involvement of external consultants Nicola Bidwell and Steve Song.

As part of this initiative, APC provided technical, policy/regulatory, economic and social assistance, with an emphasis on community networks and gender, to at least 11 community networks and local access initiatives that identified progress in and barriers to their deployment, development and sustainability in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

In order to better understand the business, technology and institutional models that have been adopted in a range of community-based and local access networks, APC and our partners carried out in-depth case studies and analysis to identify and understand the gender dimensions of local access networks, the roles women play in them, the barriers to women’s participation and mechanisms to increase their participation and contribute to transforming gender roles.

APC also built regional and global alliances of community networks, and strengthened the capacities of local access practitioners and advocates through the networking and collaboration opportunities provided through the Local Access Networks project and our partnerships.

To watch out for: In 2018, APC will significantly focus on creating an enabling environment for communities and local entrepreneurs to solve their own connectivity challenges, and APC member organisations devoted to promoting community-owned infrastructures will play a major role in these efforts.

Image: Coolab, Brazil.

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