DigI:Community Networks Empowerment Sep2019

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DigI:Community Networks Empowerment Sep2019

Title DigI:Community Networks Empowerment Sep2019
Place Gotomeet.me/BasicInternet
Date, Time 2019/09/03, 0900-0945
Contact Person Matogoro Jabera
Participants Josef.Noll, Matogoro Jabera
related to Project DigI
this page was created by Special:FormEdit/Meeting, and can be edited by Special:FormEdit/Meeting/DigI:Community Networks Empowerment Sep2019

Topics being addressed

Having discussed the status of the projects (see longer down), we focussed on experiences from connectivity and involvement of communities. A good opportunity for discussions is at the 4th Summit on Community Networks, which Matogoro organises. As he stated: We still have 27 Million people not connected to the Internet. We need community involvement and novel business approaches, otherwise it will take us another 50 years to get them onboard.

Other topics being addressed were:

  • getting the operational costs of the access down
  • empower local industries/SMEs for bringing welfare to the local societies
  • collaborate on "schools as centres for access to information"
  • analyse the split architecture suggested by Basic Internet (see: DigI:Internet_Lite_for_All) with local information being present at the school to avoid high bandwidth costs
  • invite Matogoro for one day visiting us at the DigI meeting in Arusha (see DigI:Meetings)

Our activities should be seen as part of the Digital Public Goods (http://DigitalPublicGoods.net) initiative from the United Nations, addressing connectivity as recommendation 1A and digital public goods as recommendation 1B in the The Age of Digital Interdependence report (see bottom of this site).

eLearning and connectivity of schools

The government has extended the "Education for all" demand into all secondary schools should have access to Internet, which is stated as a goal. Connecting the teacher colleges, an initiative sponsored by the government of Canada, is seen as a first step to reach out to the school.

The two main initiatives bringing digital content to schools are:

Status of Community Networks

The high bandwidth costs are the main hinder for the take-up of community networks. Examples of TZ show that we need to pay up to USD 1000 for a 4 Mbps line & co-location costs. Thus, the main driver for enhancing connectivity is to get the costs down.

  • The current project of TV white space connectivity has ended
  • Though connectivity is still in place, sustainability is the highest issue. The monthly costs for connectivity make it difficult to find suitable funds.
  • Focus is on small industries/local business to create the income needed to keep the access alive.

Status of DigI Project

The "Digital Inclusion" (http://DigI.BasicInternet.no) project has so far connected 6 villages (see DigI:Villages), with 3 more to be connected within 2019. Sustainability of the business model is also an issue, though the concept of using Mobile Broadband with costs of TZS 35000/month make the business case easier.

The DigI project has focussed on an architecture where "heavy content" such as videos and animations are kept locally in each village, to provide users with free access to this information.

a) "Recommendations 1A to 1D":
1A: We recommend that by 2030, every adult should have affordable access to digital networks, as well as digitally-enabled financial and health services, as a means to make a substantial contribution to achieving the SDGs…
1B: We recommend that a broad, multi-stakeholder alliance, involving the UN, create a platform for sharing digital public goods, ….
b) Chapter 2 page 12, pointing to reference 59 and the full reference:
"One example of building internet access around community needs, in this case health, is a collaboration between the Basic Internet Foundation and health centres in Tanzania; see Vision 2030, available at https://www.vision2030.no/index.php/en/visjon2030-projects/non-discriminating-access-for-digital-inclusion. The Panel has been informed that a 'common bid' for connectivity is being prepared by ITU, UNICEF and the World Bank.