Bridging the urban-rural digital gap – a commercial or community effort? – PL 01 2018

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Consolidated programme 2018 overview

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Session teaser

Draft ( to be discussed ) Telecom infrastructure is mostly built commercial by ISP. In unprofitable usually unserved on underserved areas Community Network (CN) is a possible alternative solution. CN are funded through donations – local, municipal of state funds or other grants. This funding disrupts markets. How to develop strategy to effectively and efficiently allocate these funds? What should be short/long term goals? What should be criteria to assess benefits and costs of non-profit interference ? How to develop strategy that provides synergy between commercial ISP and community efforts? How to make decision where to allocate public fund: subcontract ISPs, build governmental networks, support CN, generate demand though vouchers and education or anything else ?


  • Internet Access
  • Community Networks
  • Telecom operators
  • ISPs
  • Demand generation
  • Vouchers
  • Education
  • Governmental networks
  • Broadband strategy
  • Synergy
  • Public funds
  • Regulation
  • Internet Exchange Points - IXP

Session description

Scope of the session will be focused on four essential aspects (pillars) that have to be considered for successful rural connectivity national strategy or local project.

These are:

1) Financing and how to make projects sustainable

2) Competitive element / technology neutrality – how to ensure that

3) Policies, programs and regulations ( e.g. World bank program, Easter partnership, connectivity for All)

4) Ensuring demand

Obviously there are many other aspects related to the topic of the session that can be raised during the discussion.


Session will start with Lightning Talk about "Tusheti Community Networks Project". Tusheti is the most remote, mountainous,region in the north-eastern part of Georgia.

The talk will be delivered by Rati Kochlamazashvili, representative of local community.

The Lightning Talk will be followed by the moderated discussion among Key Participants within the scope of the session (find above). ( No formal presentations will be delivered - each Key Participation will give an option to use one diagram or visual)

Local and remote audience (via Webex) will be able to actively participate in the discussion.

Further reading

Tusheti Project: [1]

Broadband Europe: [2]

Policy paper: Unleashing Community Networks: Innovative Licensing Approaches : [3]

'Anti-authority' tech rebels take on ISPs, connect NYC with cheap Wi-Fi [4]

IGF 2017- Community Networks: the Internet by the People for the People (DC on Community Connectivity) [5]


Focal Point

  • Sandro Karumidze, Internet Society - Georgia Chapter

Subject Matter Expert (SME)

  • Olivier Crepin Leblond (EURALO)

Organising Team (Org Team)

  • Claudio Lucena, Visiting Research Fellow, The Center for Cyber, Law and Policy, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Kristina Olausson, Policy Officer, ETNO
  • Melle Tiel Groenestege, Digital Policy Advisor, VEON
  • Mariam Sulaberidze, International Relations and Project Management Office, Georgian National Communications Commission
  • Giorgi Dapkviashvili, Head of ICT Development Division, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia
  • Maarit Palovirta, Senior Manager, Regional Affairs Europe, Internet Society
  • Rati Kochlamazashvili, Tusheti Development Fund
  • Nino Kubinidze, Director, Opennet


1) Raúl Echeberría, Vice President Global Engagement, Internet Society, (confirmed) [6]

2) Giorgi Cherkezishvili, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia (confirmed) [7]

3) Marta Capelo Gaspar, Director of Public Policy | ETNO (confirmed)

Biography: Marta Capelo is ETNO’s Director of Public Polic. She leads on core telecoms issues, including network access, spectrum and other core regulatory files. Marta also oversees engagement on 5G as well as connected and automated driving. Prior to joining ETNO, Marta worked as the Transport and Communications Counsellor for the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the European Union. Before that, she was a Member of the Cabinet of the Portuguese Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications. Marta has extensive experience in telecoms regulation as well as intellectual property, data protection and e-Commerce services. In the early years of her career, she worked as a lawyer for leading Portuguese and international law firms in the technology, media & telecoms practice.

4) Representative of VEON (confirmed)

5) Michal Boni (MEP) EU, he is a former Minister of Digitization in Poland


Waiting approvals for candidates

Remote Moderator

Candidate will be recommended by the Georgian members of the Org team


Reporters will be assigned by the EuroDIG secretariat in cooperation with the Geneva Internet Platform. The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:

  • are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
  • relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
  • are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
  • are in (rough) consensus with the audience

Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes

See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Please use this page to publish:

  • dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
  • short summary of calls or email exchange

Please be as open and transparent as possible in order to allow others to get involved and contact you. Use the wiki not only as the place to publish results but also to summarize the discussion process.


A short summary of the session will be provided by the Reporter.

Video record

Will be provided here after the event.


Will be provided here after the event.