Community networks and smart solutions in remote areas – a bottom-up approach to digital citizenship – WS 12 2020
12 June 2020 | 11:30-13:00 | Studio Trieste | | |
Consolidated programme 2020 overview / Day 2
EuroDIG Partners agreed to adapt the programme to a virtual meeting and it was advised to reduce the number of sessions. Therefore WS 12 was merged with WS 16. Kindly follow the new merged session at this page.
Proposals: #23, #33, #44, #61, #69, #70, #91, #95 (#55, #83)
You are invited to become a member of the session Org Team! By joining a Org Team you agree to that your name and affiliation will be published at the respective wiki page of the session for transparency reasons. Please subscribe to the mailing list to join the Org Team and answer the email that will be send to you requesting your confirmation of subscription.
Community-led initiatives to digital services and connectivity
The Session offers a discussion about needs, challenges and best practices in offering applications and services based on broadband infrastructure developed with the participation of Rural communities. The session will cover recent events caused by COVID 19, however, it will also discuss issues that will exist in the aftermath of the current pandemic.
Until 11 May 2020.
Please try out new interactive formats. EuroDIG is about dialogue not about statements, presentations and speeches. Workshops should not be organised as a small plenary.
Session materials and Further reading
- Community Network Project in Georgia 2019 - Arkhoti Region Video (4')
- Freifunk initiative (community networking in Germany)- Video
- Bremke – making a village digital - Slides
- The Things Network - Nova Gorica Video (3'22)
- Air pollution and SARS-CoV-2 high lethality Paper
- Air quality monitoring network Online map
- Sarantaporo.gr Wireless Community Network Video (4')
- Sarantaporo.gr community member interview Video (1')
- Sarantaporo.gr Project Slides
- ETNO - Impact of COVID on the telecom sector providing recommendations to policymakers for the recovery phase: Paper
Until 27 April 2020.
Please provide name and institution for all people you list here.
Subject Matter Expert
- Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond
- Frédéric Donck
- Ceren Unal
- Sandro Karumidze
Organising Team (Org Team) List them here as they sign up.
- Carlo Vigna
- Roberto Gaetano
- Amali De Silva-Mitchell
- Paolo Perucci
- Carola Croll
- Luis Martinez
- Vassilis Chryssos
- Tom Puc
- Gianluca Lentini
- Valensiya Dresvyannikova
- Nenja Wolbers
- Carola Croll , Researcher, Digital Opportunities Foundation - Stiftung Digitale Chancen
- Gianluca Lentini , Researcher and Project Manager, Poliedra - Politecnico di Milano
- Maarit Palovirta Director, Regulatory Affairs at ETNO
- Massimiliano Stucchi Technical Advisor, European Bureau at Internet Society
- Tom Puc IoT Evangelist and LoRAWAN Advocate, Core Team Member of TheThingsNetwork Community Nova Gorica
- Vassilis Chryssos Co-founder at Sarantaporo.gr
Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.
- Marco Lotti, Geneva Internet Platform
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.
- Community networks provide Internet access for and by remote communities. When establishing community networks, it is crucial to build digital capacity both in terms of installation and maintenance of technical infrastructure and in terms of developing digital literacy programmes that ensure users’ meaningful participation on the Internet.
- There are many existing challenges in establishing community networks, particularly on the regulatory, funding, and connectivity side, just to name a few. However, technical aspects go hand in hand with a strong network of community support: Both the technology and the sense of community are crucial elements in ensuring the success of community networks.
- On the human side, communities’ trust and participation in the networks are a tangible challenge. Therefore, it is crucial that the network is established through a community-owned process and that once in place, it is used for the benefit of the whole community. When establishing a new network, it is crucial to involve the members of the community in the process so as to develop community-tailored solutions. Showing the benefits of the network to community members and obtaining community participation at every step of the process are some of the solutions.
Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/resources/community-networks-rural-areas-best-practice.
Provided by: Caption First, Inc., P.O. Box 3066, Monument, CO 80132, Phone: +001-719-482-9835, www.captionfirst.com
This text, document, or file is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: We should go to the Hague first.
>> Hi Sandra.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Hi Nadia. Nice to see you again. I hope you could have a little bit of a rest during the break. GDPR, okay. What is so funny in the background?
>> No. Breaks are an illusion here. Hosting for sure meeting.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Okay. I tell you later on what’s happening in the break here. I will do that in the next segment. And in your studio you are going to talk about GDPR. It is an issue that is relevant since at least two years, even longer. It will be a session about updates and how to – how that GDPR relates to information of freedom – freedom of information. So Nadia, is everything set in your room? Everyone arrive?
>> NADIA TJAHJA: All the speakers have arrived and it is going to be a great setting. They are really focusing on having a lot of interactivity going in their session. Just like the last few sessions people are commenting and adding questions and sharing their knowledge in the background. Our Remote Moderator is excited to get the discussion going and keeping the dialogue going after these sessions.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: With this I hand over to you and wish you all the good luck for the next two workshops.
>> NADIA TJAHJA: Thank you so much. Bye.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Bye. And then let me ask my team, how is – are they connected? Wonderful. I see Roberto on the screen. Roberto, can you hear me? Roberto, we cannot hear you.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: We can hear you. You have got a whole team here ready to go.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: I know that voice from the background. It sounds like Frederic Donck.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Completely. I hope you get much more than my voice because I’m completely here.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Okay. So Frederic, you are the session Moderator?
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Right.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: The session host should read out the code of conduct so everybody knows how to behave properly. I see that Roberto has audio issues. We will play in the code of conduct slide and maybe Frederic, you can take that job until Roberto and Marco can open up the session.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: With pleasure.
>> ROBERTO GAETENO: This is Roberto.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Wonderful. Here you are.
>> ROBERTO GAETENO: But my connection crashed. And then I reconnected. And now I don’t – I need to load the slides and so on. I can – in the meantime I can read the code of conduct. And start and then we will do without slides for a moment. And then when I recover with the slides, then we will have everything.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: I think, Roberto, you are doing perfectly right to have paper on your side because you shouldn’t rely on cyberspace. So please go ahead. And I leave you doing your job. I don’t want to interrupt any further. And I know, Frederic, you have a very skilled Moderator on your side. So good luck for your session.
>> ROBERTO GAETENO: Thank you.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you.
>> ROBERTO GAETENO: I have been in the practice of having paper. While – yeah, I remember Vint Cerf said if you have pictures that you really care about, print them. So thank you for your patience. And this is the session about community networks. And the Moderator is Frederic Donck to whom I will give the floor in a moment. Before giving the floor to Frederic let me read the code of conduct.
The – please state your full name when entering the room. Raise your hand using the Zoom function to ask a question. Stay muted until the floor is given to you. And when speaking, switch on the video and state your name and affiliation. Do not share links to the Zoom meetings, not even with your colleagues.
Okay. Frederic, the floor is yours.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you very much, Roberto. Thank you for this job. It is good to recall those principles. We are going live and this is a great experiment. And it has been a success so far. I am very happy to welcome you all on this EuroDIG on community networks. I would ask the question in a few seconds what it is that we are talking about. In short honestly everything you wanted to know about community network, this is the place. This is not the official title of our conversations today. There is another more official title, but this is well about it.
My name is Frederic Donck. I’m the Vice‑President for the Internet Society in Europe. And I’m really glad we have the occasions to go through community network. This is the Internet from the people for the people. Much more in a few seconds. Before I get there, I need to tell you that there will be 90 minutes where you will hear people sharing experience, best practices and their specific angles. There will be video, crossed fingers if it works. And we also have what we call between us a bank. I would love you to check on this bank of information so that we collect it. Actually thank you, Sandra, who is the focal point who helped collecting all those informations on the Wiki of EuroDIG. I would invite you to go and check this because you will find a mine, a gold mine of informations.
I still have some stuff to tell you and share before I start and introduce the panel. First I will mention EuroDIG is a success. It is a success because of many people working behind the screens. You see one of them on the screen, Roberto. Thank you for this technical assistance. And you will be held by Michael and Romano and they are helping there actually. We also have Jolie, our friend Jolie from the U.S. who is Livestreaming. I don’t know who it was, Marco or – Jolie is somewhere but he is Livestreaming on Youtube. Thanks for that.
You have a chat. Roberto kindly reminded us of how to use this. Please don’t hesitate to use the chat with questions that I will take the pleasures to relay to our panelists. And then at the end of this session we will have reporters. Reporters they do that for all sessions. This is a great job. They will take the time to work us through the different conclusions of these conversations. And they will submit it to you as a group for you to approve it as conclusions of our sessions.
I believe I have said it all. Let me introduce our panel starting with Carola Croll. You are a research assistant. You are based in Berlin. And your work focuses on digitalizations in rural areas and chances of opportunities of social media for the Civil Society. And I see that you are also a smart hero. You are more than a smart hero. Nice.
The second speaker will be Maarit Palovirla. You are a director of regulatory affairs at ETNO that stands for European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association, an Association here in Brussels. But Maarit, you are also working and have a brilliant career in an organization that goes after the Internet Society in which you were able to lead some of our activities, including community networks. What a coincidence. So I’m very glad to hear you on that.
Gianluca Lentini, you are a climate scientist and researcher for the environment for Poliedra ‑ Politecnico di Milano. You manage the space projects, smart villages, transition of mountain areas. We look forward to hearing from that as well. Thank you for joining.
Massimiliano Stucchi, Max for those who have difficulties with the long Italian first name. You are a technical advisor. And you are a grand Capo in the Internet Society as the lead of the CN project at the global level for the organizations and you will share your experience as well. Thanks for joining.
Tom Puc, you are a member of the TheThingsNetwork Community Nova Gorica team. You are a community network designer and administrator. And you manage also digital communication at the Associations of radio. You are also a well‑known advocate of the Internet of Things with LoRAWAN. People will know much more after you have a had a chance to tell us more about LoRAWAN. And you speak frequently in many different conferences on IoT. Thanks for joining.
And last but not least Vassilis Chryssos. You are a member and administrator in Sarantaporo. You cofounded it and will tell us much more about what it is. You are based in Greece. And you work for the Associations for Progressive Communications, APC.
As I said a great panel and great experience around the table. Let me kick it off. I would like to ask each of you in the order that you were introduced, what is CN from your perspective? If you have to explain this to people who don’t know anything about it, for example, my mother, I guess she is online as well, what it is that you would say to explain what is community network. Starting with you, Carola.
>> CAROLA CROLL: Yes. I was very close to the two words. That is Internet for everyone.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Nice.
>> MAARIT PALOVIRLA: Hello, everyone. I have more than two words for you, but I will try and keep it short. From a Telcos perspective, from Telco operator perspective it is the extension of digital networks in remote areas where we don’t have a commercial business case. From my heart and previous experience I would also say that it is a local citizen initiative and very important for inclusion.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Nice one. Thank you. Did we lose Gianluca?
>> GIANLUCA LENTINI: Here I am. Good morning, everyone, from Milan. Community network for me is above all a network of people. People who are aware of the assets and needs of their areas and try to express them making full use of the available technologies.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Very nice. Thank you. Max.
>> MASSIMILIANO STUCCHI: For us Internet community networks, Internet access built for the people by the people and producing value for the people themselves.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you very much. Tom.
>> TOM PUC: Hi. So for me this is some kind of a local community response or solution for ICT deprived geographical areas.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Nice one. Thank you very much.
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: Yes, for me similar with Tom’s. So I would say that the community network is firstly a community of people willing to deal with their digital exclusion and learn in the process by using accessible and shared knowledge of the community network ecosystem to build a telecommunications infrastructure which they own and manage.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Nice definition. Thank you for giving this because I guess now people have a better grasp on what it is that we are about to talk about. If not please use the chat. Tell us but I would like to continue with you, Vassilis, if you allow me. I would like you to give us a bit of your experience on what it is to start a community network. What are the ingredients that you would need to do that stuff?
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: Let me just share my screen. I don’t know if you can see that.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: We do.
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: I will also show you some pictures because one picture is worth a thousand words so that you get a better understanding of what a community network is or our community network is. So yes, to start with community network I think there are some basic ingredients there. First in my opinion is community. So you have to have a community of people and have to have some leadership there. So some people must take the initiative to start with – with this. The second ingredient is to tap in to the common knowledge of the community network ecosystem. So there are a lot of the community networks around the world. There is a lot of knowledge. And this is also how we have started. We didn’t know anything about community networks when we started. But we did find knowledge, shared knowledge out there. And then it depends on the local conditions. For example, in Sarantaporo there was a core team of people willing to experiment and who wanted to offer back to their birth place village. This is how it started, but we take, for instance, the community network in South Africa. These people had to solve the problem of power. They didn’t have a power infrastructure. So they used solar panels and mesh community network in Manhattan. They started sharing the connectivity from rooftop to rooftop. Yes, there you have it. Can you still hear me?
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Continue, please.
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: Yes. So I would say that the bare minimum ingredients to start in one place, you have to have the technical capacity and knowledge to put the infrastructure and to be able to maintain it. You can see some infrastructure there. Then you have to have training. People must be – must acquire digital literacy and skills to deal not only with the infrastructure, but also to be able to connect meaningfully to the Internet. So digital training for us is about deploying and maintaining the infrastructure but at the same time using the connectivity to benefit in the everyday – in the everyday lives of their community. And then – it would be the community building part, so we need to nurture and grow our community. And this is something that we do with much care. These are the bare minimum for me. And then further if you want to go further, you need to speak about the institutional capacity and about the connection with the ecosystem. You can find elements there, for example, as funding, how the community networks can involve, can evolve where they can find funding to go on because there is a lot of experimentation when you do – when you deploy a community network. So you need to have some support, financial support there. And then there is a peer exchange, the knowledge experience and best practice from community network to community network. And this is where the role of some international stakeholders is really important to bring all these community networks together would be, for example, the work that ISOC is doing or APC is doing which is in my opinion really, really important. So if – I’m not sure how I’m doing about from timewise, Frederic, here.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: I am checking on you. It is perfect. Continue. I’ve got some more questions for you by the way. Please.
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: Sure. I will be talking all day.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: When we listen to you we can imagine the different ingredients. When portrait it is all simple but I guess there are a lot of challenges, right? Can you have an idea about what kind of challenges you are to meet concretely in your project? Was it human, financial, regulatory? What kind of challenges you have?
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: Yes, this is something that needs to be addressed. And these are definitely something, things that you will find in your way when you build a community network. So yes, community building, community participation is one challenge. So it doesn’t mean that all the community will go behind this community network and will participate actively. You also have some members there who just – who are just happy to have Internet, for example. And they don’t – they don’t want to get involved more actively. It is all about doing, you know, nurturing your community with local community events. And then we also – we have the funding as I said before which is it has to be diverse so you have some resilience. In our case we draw our funding from the local community for some projects from funders such as ISOC. And we have the community environment. You find yourself working in a gray zone. Regulators do not necessarily know what the community network is. We need to offer best practices all over the world to make it easier for them to do their job and make it easier for us as community networks.
Last but not least, a very practical matter, where you will find Internet connectivity, the backhaul as we say. So usually it is too expensive to have Internet in these remote areas. And this is the reason also why telecoms usually do not operate in those areas. So we need to be creative in how to behind backhaul connectivity and share this to all the people in the villages.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you. I mean thank you for this. I really appreciate you witnessing because you really have done this work concretely in your communities. I see already some comments in the chat. Yes, those ingredients not easy sometimes to collect. And if we got time, I would love to address also those refugee communities. Thanks for this start. I wanted people to have a better idea on different challenges. And you set it up perfectly, technical, regulatory, financials, economics, and human centric. We are talking about a community. So you need to have people in it. Not always easy.
Roberto, could we have one of those other experiences we have and that’s coming from Georgia. We have done some work in Georgia. And we have beautiful videos. At least we with try to reduce that 3 minutes 30 video from Georgia. I know Ocha is on the chat here somewhere. So Ocha, don’t hesitate to put on the chat what we are talking about here. This is one of the projects that the Internet Society has been involved with and to me it portrays community networks in a beautiful way. Don’t hesitate to give comment in chat. Roberto, back to you.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Are we not supposed to have sound or something? This is Ocha in the picture. But we normally have – is it my end? But normally we should be listening to this as well, right?
>> ROBERTO GAETENO: No, there is no sound.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: There is no sound which is a pity because you might have a better taste on what’s happening there, including the fact that the only way to access those mountains is by helicopter as you can see. And you can see this in reality. So that’s a real work. I regret we don’t have the sound honestly but it is perfect. That is okay. Give you a taste of where they are actually in the middle of nowhere. Ocha here in action. And really building mass on top of mountains in Georgia. Michael, yes, we have the video. Thank you for asking. We have the videos on this bank on the Wiki of EuroDIG. If you go to the website of EuroDIG you will find the Wiki. And you will find all sorts of materials that we have put there. Vassilis has put some Sandro for Georgia and Gianluca and everyone among us has put materials there. So please check on it.
So Ocha, first time I see you but not hearing you which is something different, but you are there. So you could easily speak if you want. But okay. Look, this is even on horseback which is great when we see this. I would love you to have the full experience of this. But let’s continue the video.
>> (Speaking in non‑English language).
>> Thank you for sharing between us.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Okay. So as I said that is a test for Georgia. And I would invite you to have the full experience with the video that you will find on the Wiki. I don’t know, Sandro, Ocha, if you want to add something, including the name of the regions, I would be able to say it but I will kill the Georgian accent. If you want to say the name of the region or say it for me, it resembles a recipe in Georgia.
With this let’s switch to the next speaker and, Vassilis, I will keep you because I would like you to react to some of the questions. One of them was can we have an idea on how expensive it is. It is a very complex question because it really depends on what you do. But I would like to come back on this if people want to have some ideas on what we are talking about.
Carola, I would like to turn to you. With your background I would like to – you to walk us through precisely you do the very session perspective but technical constraints. How are you able to link both those constraints and challenges?
>> CAROLA CROLL: Thank you. Let me just say we are not quite as remote as mountains in Georgia. It is rural but not quite as much. The craziest thing the village we are working with has planned is to put four WiFi routers on their church tower. So there is accessibility and connectivity in the village. The village has about 900 people. And they decided they want to go fully digital. And they came to us and said can you help us. And we said, of course, we can help you. And we are working together with them. And you didn’t ask the other part of the question that I really wanted to answer. So I will ask it myself, can the technical aspects be successful without the social aspects and the other way around. And this goes to what Vassilis said earlier, no, you can’t divide them. You have to work together. If nobody knows how to make use of it and how to take advantage of, the possibilities are all lost.
And so we established a network of volunteers in the village to support everyone and anyone with all questions connected to Internet and connectivity and this strengthens the village community on the Web and open web.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you. So we touch upon about a little bit. But yes, your audio seems quite low, Carola. I believe you might turn up a little bit. But this is all about acceptance at the local level, right? I mean you need a community that in the complete buying of community. So how would you succeed to have this? Control.
>> CAROLA CROLL: Is my audio better now?
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Perfect.
>> CAROLA CROLL: Perfect. Okay. Thank you. Yes, that’s – I am quite linked to the previous question. You need a strong network of community support and also ways to engage those who are not yet connected to the Internet or who are skeptical or afraid to use the Internet. So we established three solutions. We have a Web page that is very easily accessible. And it is very easy to upload information and to access the information. So that’s basically the place where the village can introduce itself and information can be made accessible for everyone.
The second part is an app that everyone can download and that direct links to the Web page. So all the information can be passed to everyone in the village and they can also interact within the app. And, for example, the mayor can put up information on street closures or garbage disposals and also at the moment latest COVID‑19 information can be easily passed on to everyone. And the last solution is that we will be putting up screens for the village, for example, in the village shop or in clubhouses where the latest information is also displayed. And this makes sure that everyone knows about the project and about the digital opportunities that this project has and that the village can provide. And the last one would be that what I said before, the training of multipliers who are a voluntary group who are learning and who are providing the information to everyone in need.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you, Carola. Coming back to you, Vassilis. When you hear what Carola is doing or say we have to engage the community in buying, is it something that resonates with you as well?
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: Yes, definitely. And in our case it would seem strange to some. And I have to say that our case is about 11 villages in a rural area and about 5500 people who are benefitting from the community network. So it might seem kind of strange that we have mostly, yeah, older people engaging with the community networks. And older farmers in fact. So how come they go in to this – all this let’s say trouble to learn about community networks and all that technology and the answer was surprising to us as well. So what we found out was that these people were very eager to have their grandchildren with them but their grandchildren were not eager to visit them because when they went to the village they didn’t have Internet. So by actually working to bring Internet to their village what they achieved was that they also brought their grandchildren. And that was very striking in regards to the social impact and the social coherence that we can achieve with the work that we do.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you very much. I will come back to you in a few seconds, Carola, but it resonates with me, Gianluca, because this is the kind of challenges that you have up in the mountains in your region.
>> GIANLUCA LENTINI: Absolutely. One challenges we have is to making people interested and aware of what they can do and also have people participate in the first person, in the activities for what we call the smart transition of their areas. And most of the time they might not trust each other very much to begin with and they might not trust also the institutions to begin with. But slowly but surely they can move forward. And oftentimes, this is what Vassilis was mentioning before, different generations work really well together in this moment. So we are seeing this particularly over the last few months with the COVID pandemic which has become an opportunity for some of those areas to look in to their own assets and strength and to self‑organize and codesign their own services.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Nice. I will come back to you on this later, Gianluca, but thank you for injecting this. Carola, when I say that success, like transinternational kind of participation, how could you actually succeed to have different generations contributing to objective might sound fairly technical? So what would be the best way here to get there?
>> CAROLA CROLL: For us we basically I want to say three success factors. The first for pilot project which we are and definitely planning a transfer and we have villages around us interested already. I am looking towards Vassilis. We should stay in touch but we are starting small and getting bigger. You are already there. We started with a very disinterested community. They didn’t have mobile coverage. And they decided to join the German free WiFi initiative. And it is in a valley and mobile coverage might be an issue for many years to come. If you are connected to the WiFi you can access the Internet from the whole village. And the coverage in the village, there are more routers are connected to the free WiFi network in the 900 village than in the next town over which has 130,000 people. I will just let that think and more routers per person in a 900 village than in a 130,000 town. So don’t be a stranger. And before COVID‑19 we went there at least once or twice a month. We got to know the people and we got to know their needs for their Digital Village. And lastly it is a total process of co‑creation. We are developing everything together every step of the way. We are empowering the village for their digital sovereignty and that’s it. It works very successfully.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: I would like you to say a bit more about success factors for what it is that you are doing and for best practices but before I get there, I would like to take just time to answer, there are many questions on the chat. And I would like to start answering some of those. We have someone named after 523926, asking a question which is fairly – a fair question actually. Where is – why is there a cautious restraint in the definition of community network rural where there is no commercial case for telecoms? You can read the question as much as I can. Why not as an Internet network build and operated by communities anywhere in cities and villages in the Developing and Developed World in collaboration with communities around the world, operating in a fair networking model. I love that definition. Vassilis, can you comment?
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: Yes, sure. In fact, there are community networks in big cities and I already mentioned the example of NYC mesh, community network in the heart of Manhattan which spreads from rooftop to rooftop. If you want to address the problem with people remaining unconnected, you have to see it from various aspects. In the use case the aspect is that we don’t have telecoms operators operating there. So we had to do something about it.
In the cities, perhaps it is a matter of affordability. Perhaps it is too expensive. People go on to build community networks to share resources. We have a community network in Athens, in Greece which has grown very big through the years and has been one of the first or perhaps the first in its size globally. It all comes down to actually seeing it as something that you participate in, something that you engage in, rather than being just a consumer consuming Internet connectivity. So I believe that this is a valid question. This is something that we ask ourselves a lot and we work together with other community networks as well. And it has its own dynamics. It is something that is a living process. And we will see how this evolves.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you. Max, I mean I would like to ask you because you got this perspective at a global level. Can you confirm that indeed it is not for rural areas only?
>> MASSIMILIANO STUCCHI: Yes. We – Vassilis mentioned New York City mesh but we also have – I have seen, for example, Toronto mesh. There are other community networks in other cities. And there the issue can be not only of affordability. People who cannot afford to get commercial service, but also in terms of performance, like if you read many of the stories from New York City mesh, because and there I am involved a little bit more than in other cases because I follow their Slack channels to understand their model. There are many people who join and suddenly they say this is totally different than what I am used to. In some cities you have issues where local city exchanges can be congested and can have issues, capacity issues. So you might want to switch and join another effort because you believe in it. And because you see there is a direct benefit in doing that. And also yes, I see in the chat there is a – another example in Barcelona of a community network. We have a series of very, very good examples around the world.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Yes, I covered that. I was about to say hello to our friends from Catalona and from Griffy who have done such great works. Thanks, Max. Let’s continue with the question on the chat. What are the factors that limit the growth in the end, technical, policy, social? I would say maybe all of the above. I read about a dozen very successful CNs but rarely read about new ones. Who wants to take this? Vassilis?
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: Yes. Well, it is difficult to grade community network. It takes time. And this is where one should start from. And one should be kind of let’s say not have too high expectations regarding how fast that can grow. And how wide it can spread. Especially the community networks have developed in the past few years and it is not by mere chance. We live in a period where half of the world’s population is connected. The other half is not. And the regulators have created an environment for connectivity. So that the companies might operate in their peak of their capacity to provide connectivity to all of the planet actually. And what we face now even though this regulatory environment is in place, there is kind of a peak let’s say. So we see that connecting the other half will not be easy. And this is the point where we see community networks have started growing faster than they used to. This is where people need to get involved and people need to get engaged with building their community networks.
So my view is that there are new efforts, there are new community networks spinning up. But it is not easy to start because it is kind of a transitional phase. And we need to work towards building a more favorable environment. Recognizing the work that community networks are doing and providing them with the institutional let’s say environment to help to assist spread even for this kind of work.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you. I’d like to switch to some other questions I see from Todi and let me find it. Yes. Todi asked whether we could just address also those initiatives that I actually received some negative impact from communities. Max, could you take that one?
>> MASSIMILIANO STUCCHI: Yes. Well, my personal experience in the past is that there are communities. Well, to give a bit of perspective I used to run an ISP in the north of Italy. It operated several years ago on the similar concepts and going in and covering areas that are not – that were not covered by ISP back in the day. Some communities would reject the idea. But we – this is something that we are trying to understand also from an ISOC perspective and together, Vassilis here, too, is going to corroborate with us on that. This is an idea that came from Frederic from this year of work, is to try to set up some guidelines and an assessment, a way to assess what the impact of a community network is on an area on a region in terms of the economy. I know there is a – Vassilis also suggested as we were collaborating with them to get some anthropologists involved to also discuss the human effect of being connected to the internet. If we think about it, if you think about your daily activities, how important is the Internet for you. Especially, especially now. There have been lots and lots of discussions about how impactful the Internet has been, especially in the last few months where we have all had to work from our homes. So I think this might be also changing in the views of many people. But I don’t have any direct experience yet to say how much this has been changing. So maybe Vassilis who has more –
>> FREDERIC DONCK: I shall take it from here, Max. Thank you. Todi, I hope we answered a part of your question actually. Because it is a good question. We will try to assist as well, how communities might just resist to this. As Max mentioned we are very excited that we will be launching soon an impact assessment of CN.
I see time is running and Carola, before I switch to Maarit and by the way this elephant in the room that some of you already referred, COVID‑19, so that you – it is a question that I will ask all of you at the end of these conversations to answer, what has that pandemic created as a dynamic for CN. Ready for that question at the end. Carola, I would like to recall that you nicely provided us with some material about your initiative that again people might find in our bank on the Wiki. But could you just tell us or give us your list of success factors that would just show us how you will assist us?
>> CAROLA CROLL: Yes. Of course. Basically I think it links in nice with the question for negativity because we started out with a very digital positive community. And we do have people who are skeptical but we are also going with the positive aspect and always trying to show them the possibilities. And I like what Vassilis said about the farmers implementing community networking so that their families would come to visit. In Germany it is a bit more everyone is WhatsApp or Skype to stay in touch. We have the positive factors of the Internet at the front and try to engage people on a very low level.
And the second as I said before the good Internet connectivity due to the community networking with the Frifranc initiative and strong cooperate from the players and community and project partners. And we are doing a bottoms‑up approach because we are working with the village and partners closely together. And we are always taking a step back and then going forward again and really questioning what we are doing and getting feedback from everyone every step of the way. So I think that sums it up pretty nicely.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Yes.
>> CAROLA CROLL: Thank you.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you. Thank you for this. I will get back if we got some time, Carola, because I find this is an extraordinary experience that you are sharing here. Switching to you Maarit, as I said you are now working with ETNO and big telecoms in Europe. And you have this experience from the past. How do you measure now your business model, your commercial business model of telecoms and remote area of inclusion?
>> MAARIT PALOVIRLA: Thank you. Quite an interesting discussion. And I would like to think that the telecoms operators perspective has changed and evolved over the last ten years in this respect. And as probably in most of your countries as well but certainly in Brussels, inclusion is a very topical policy priority. And I think it has only been heightened by the COVID crisis, of course. And we as ETNO very much adhering to the inclusion as a priority and also frankly to the centricity so we can be providing services that are taking – are taking care of the citizen needs and wants as well. Now the ETNO I mean we, of course, I mean I’m not sure I said in the beginning but we would present about 70% of all infrastructure investment in Europe. So that is well, it is a privilege but it is also responsibility because, of course, that gives us the opportunity to scale activities and to make an impact in terms of inclusion on a European scale.
The business case issue was already discussed and that’s the limitation as we are commercial operators. And so we need to look in to different ways and different models of doing things. And I think in terms of bridging the gap how do we make sure that the connectivity that everyone needs in Europe today, it is a necessity, how do we make sure we can use our big companies to expand the networks in to remote areas. And I think there we have policy questions popping up. The EU certainly but many also other countries already have policy tools in place addressing these issues, and include public funding and state aid, universal service obligations, and other things. Also literacy programs I think are very important in terms of stimulating demand. So we need to kind of work together to make all of this work. And also from ETNO member sites, so beyond the policy framework our members are also taking proactive means to address the gap if you like in terms of remote connectivity.
So in Italy for one team our member and in Portugal have quite large digital education programs, specifically addressing also rural needs and people in the rural areas. So I think we are trying to bridge the gap. And I think that telecommunication operators certainly are playing a role, of course, in this equation in general.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you. You open a big Pandora box addressing policy issues and the policy environment. I see many questions on the chat right now from Debra but also from Orient. You write they are an environment which might not be favorable to community networks. Licensing is one of those. And I know all the panelists will agree, small community to pay the same fee and then telecom operators. What is the best environment? And do you believe that we have at least in Europe such a good environment?
>> MAARIT PALOVIRLA: Some of the tools already exist. I don’t think they have been sufficient. And in some cases they haven’t been effective frankly. And in some cases we as operators very much supported them and in other cases we have not because we don’t see them as effective. There is room for better policies and better policy environment. It is a community network or a large operator network. We have similar ways. Cost of deployment is still very high. Even for us as big operators and these are one of the reasons why we are not rolling out the new high capacity networks as quickly as we could be rolling out.
One of the key issues, I think there was a couple of them mentioned in the chat, spectrum licenses are extremely expensive. We are talking millions and billions here, many local permits. So when we go in remote and rural areas it is often local Government responsible to give access to site. And you have to pay sometimes. And there are administrative processes involved which means there is a time lag and also all kinds of taxes and fees that operators are subject to. So there are barriers still. And I think also we should be looking in to promoting business models, voluntary business models that would enable us to deploy networks more effectively. For example, network sharing. Voluntary network sharing. This is becoming a very interesting topic now. And this could mean active network sharing or physical infrastructure sharing or even perhaps spectrum sharing, but to make sure we use the resources that we have in the most effective way and think also especially when we talk about physical infrastructure sharing and network sharing this is also very topical at the moment in terms of the ecological considerations because we don’t want to be building many, many duplicating networks and wasting our environmental – from the environmental perspective wasting our resources. So those are some of the things that I would like to raise on the supply side.
On the demand side I think that Governments can play a big role as well there. So we are seeing as well that in terms of crisis, so data traffic went up but many SMEs were not prepared for the COVID crisis. They were not either digitized or they didn’t have the skills perhaps. So basically the business operations pretty much halted. Governments have programs, make educational programs to make sure our kind of grass root businesses are in a position to use the networks. Similarly public administrations. We had issues whereby hospitals were not coping with the crisis very well whereas we ask the question, had there been much more digitization, maybe remote diagnosis and things like that that could have helped also with the COVID crisis. So we need to make sure that we digitize as well. And this will feed in to the ecosystem and increase the demand for both large operators and also for community networks.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you. I mean spot on, you are opening so many questions right now that I will have to – a lot more questions about this policy environment. Some of them I would like to keep for the end of the conversations because yes, one of the questions, and this is you, Debra, that I wanted to ask, if will you see or have you seen some move from Government to support some of what you are saying, Maarit, much more support for SMEs or much more supports for local engagement or community networks. Did we or you see in your respective regions and your respective capacity a move from Governments since COVID. Let’s keep this for the end of the conversation.
Let me switch to you, Max. I would like you – I believe I know some of the answer, but I would like you to walk us through an ISOC perspective here. What it is that the Internet Society does in to this field and why important for the Internet Society and what is the overall goal, Max?
>> MASSIMILIANO STUCCHI: Our goal is to see community networks develop and be sustainable as much as possible across the world. And our effort works in all – pretty much all the regions. We go from South America where we have recently seen a very good coverage of the help we have done with the community network in Edcool. And there is North America with a lot being done in the indigenous communities part of the country, of the U.S. and Canada. There is a lot also being done in Africa. Vassilis mentioned Tansilin and Bosco and also in Asia and Pacific. But surprisingly we are also looking in to opportunities in the Middle East where things are also changing a bit, like things that would have not expected until recently where there are now opportunities to also run community networks there. Although the – there is a lot of policy work that needs to be done beforehand. And this is also to leave it one of the questions about the – that I saw in the chat about policy. Because the policies in Europe and North America are welcoming for community networks, not everywhere but in general they are fairly okay. But in other parts of the world there is still a lot of work. And in this there is our colleague, Juan, who is also on the – listening to us. Who is doing a great work there with all the different countries and communities. There is – so we are helping a lot of also new efforts. We have a long list that we can provide you. But I will let – I will leave more for later.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Not for much later. We have talked about the different ingredients and challenges. And from your perspective, from an ISOC perspective this global perspective, what do you see as the main ingredients for a successful CN and what might be the main challenges?
>> MASSIMILIANO STUCCHI: The main ingredient, one of the aspects that we have considered are the fact that you need someone to lead. You need some leadership. You need a strong group that decides that things need to be done and actually we have a good example here on the panel. We have Vassilis and Ocha is another good example. You need people that want to get things done. How can we help this? Training is – capacity building in general is one of the most important aspects. I seen a linking shared here by Marcos who does a lot of work in the field. There are guides, that there are lots of courses available out there. And there we are trying to help people get to our – to these courses. We had a – we had a big plan for training for this year that we would have liked to do on the field. And, of course, it is not going to be possible. So we are still trying to figure out how this can be done in an effective way remotely. And that is what we are trying to achieve for the rest of the year. So working on trying to get more training available, more capacity building in a world that has changed.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you very much, Max. I mean again much to say. I see the chat continues with many good comments. I would like to switch to the next panelist and that would be you, Tom. And the first time I heard you I was a bit surprised by angles. And I feel it is really useful what you are going to tell us. It is about IoT and community networks. Why should CN in your opinion actually suddenly focus on the Internet of Things? Could you say a few words about this?
>> TOM PUC: Yes, this is actually a story about implementing a bottom‑up, we had a bottom‑up term in our title. Crowdsourced Internet of Things, ecosystem over community networks. It seems like really a bit off the last discussion we had here. Because I presume that we have community networks that simply work and they have their – their users, their services. And in order to guarantee something more cutting edge technology or even support for all these hashtags IoT precision, agriculture, smart everything, there is really a shortcut how to use community networks not only for covering rural or remote areas but even cities.
So I will switch to my presentation which is a short video. I will stop screen sharing. Let me see. Okay. Yeah.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Nice. Thank you.
>> TOM PUC: You see the stream is going on. If I can find my –
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Perfect.
>> TOM PUC: Okay. This will do. This is a story about IoT. IoT community‑based on the project from Amsterdam. Started a couple of years ago. But let me first define IoT. IoT is a very, very large, large thing and put in to the context of the community, community network idea. So you certainly read about my predictions of exponential growth of Internet of Things. Now in 2020 we should have already achieved I think 50 billion connected devices according to Gartner. And this, of course, is fuelled by the IoT industry and the communication networks operators. Offering their controlled solution through proprietary infrastructures, for example. And counting on the big return on investment. Of course, there is this – this will be an even huger gap between deprived geographical areas and even not so popular cities on the other side. So this will be the IoT as is the – as this pictured by IoT industry and operators. It is something a bit, a bit exclusive.
So the situation, the current offerings, current solution brings us to the situation that an owner of the services decides what can we do with the service. What network protocols we will use. Whether or what kind of encryption can we use, whether we can stand anonymous and how private is our data. We are all stories, for example, automatic home vacuum cleaner data was synced in some Tivan or cloud servers and data was then later resold to the other, I don’t know, carpet shops and things like this.
So now I imagine common based infrastructure that allows us to self‑manage the infrastructure collectively. So, first of all, we need to choose the most appropriate radio communication technology to connect devices to the infrastructure. The point is that we are – we all know, proven wireless and mobile technologies. So we can connect our devices, for example, soil community sense our garden in order to monitor irrigation system with WiFi. But how about if you have a vineyard about ten kilometers from the nearest house. WiFi is out of reach, out of range. So you will probably opt for mobile. And, of course, you will pay some kind of data plan. And even this is – this could be a problem because coverage in remote areas with mobile data is something always questionable. And the other point is that the sensor using mobile radio, mobile interface to the infrastructure is very power hangry. You need to charge your cell phone every evening. So if you do something extremely good engineered, you still have all solar panels, big batteries. Something bulky in the middle of your vineyard. It is not the point. We could only choose again the zig B which is the protocol used for home meters and WiFi. There is no suitable telecommunication to support wireless devices.
A couple years ago industry started to develop so‑called low power area networks, LP1 and that what the narrow band, Sigfox and a couple of protocols like this. MB IoT was the extension of the communication protocols of mobile operators. Low power energy really suitable for the devices, but it requires a SIM card or some kind of data plan with your provider. Sigfox is another closed – closed LP1 solution. But the – the network is completely proprietary and there is LoRA. LoRA actually is the only low power network. By an option open community‑based on open standard. And the LoRAWAN is the protocol, internet protocol where over the LoRA radio layers. So this was led shotty tech stuff.
Let me introduce how these things actually works. So you need a device called gateway which is something like an access point of WiFi. But much more capable to connect to – connect devices up to theoretically – the number is very high. But let’s think it could manage 10,000 devices per gateway. And the coverage can reach about 3 to 6 kilometers in an urban area and about 20 to 25 kilometers in rural areas. To cover Amsterdam the guys had six gateways and later on ten. And for covering my region here we had some backup resources and we have three and there is no problem to reach them from the cellar of the buildings. So this was – let me see if this started. We started. So, first of all, we started to – with the guys a community. They – they have 400 free access, 400 WiFi access points all over the cities. We connected to the infrastructure they already had in place. It covers the Italian city. It is the view of. For covering remote areas, we partnered with the HAM radio operators, HAM networks around. We put the gateways on the mountaintop locations with a good view. This one has an excellent view until Venice. On a clear winter day you can really see the San Marco tower. Actually the radio meter network is a bunch of the high speed WiFi connections. Just like in Georgia the same story. We put another one on the restaurant in the ski resort and all these things is put together by the volunteers, members of the community. Later on you need to map –
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Tom, I will have – unfortunately I realize that I still need to manage one more speaker after you. So I will have – unfortunately it is – when we start talking about this I want to know more because it is an extra. And Vassilis, it is the protocol that might be best associated to CN. And I know that you explained this but more – in a more deeper way.
>> TOM PUC: Yes, yes.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: We need to come up to the bottom line and –
>> TOM PUC: I will reconnect to the social part of this. So this is the how to solve the chicken and egg problem. You will need infrastructure to put some use case in to life but without infrastructure you will not have use case. So you better put together the network with the use cases in mind directly. So this is the use case for startups that they actually had to monitor on the ground level for a couple of months with absolutely no connection. It would be a problem with the satellite connection. So we manage to put this. This is the initial – additional part we have, how to manage our agriculture part parameters from areas with no coverage at all. And this actually converted in to a commercial project at the end. And this is a kind of thing that could gain resilience to the – to the community networks because something can be easily used like revenue source for community networks.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: That’s my favorite one by the way. You can connect whatever you want including when you see animals and that’s very useful. I will have to – I’m sorry. I will have – I would really invite people to really check this, including your videos that you will find again on the Wiki. Thanks a million, Tom. And I apologize because I would like to finish this conversation with Gianluca who has been patient until the end and I would like to hear from you. And I won’t interrupt you for the next coming five minutes. Community networks, smart villages, please just talk about it.
>> GIANLUCA LENTINI: Thank you very much. And I have been enjoying the panel and thanks to everyone who has taken part so far. It is a bit more than mountains in Italy because smart villages is an Alpine project. We have 12 test areas ranging from the French Alps to the Eastern most part of Slovenia. When we started the project which is incidentally also supported by the macro regional strategy for the Alps, we asked ourselves whether the concept of Smart City which in this, for example, city prides itself had something to teach also to marginal remote mountain areas. The objectives that we used for the mountains, marginal and depopulated. So what we did was to invite our partners coming from the villages from France to Slovenia to that little mountain village of Milan where everyone could at least see the Alps. How do we measure smartness? Because the literature about Smart Cities says that we have to consider six dimensions of smartness and 100 indicators. Are those six dimensions okay for villages? Those are smart economies and smart environments and smart governance and smart living and smart people. They cover all the interesting aspects, also of community networks, the regulatory aspect and technical and social and economical aspect. We started our meeting with people coming from villages with 96 indicators and we finished it with 24. It was decided by our mountain communities. They are part of a smart assessment procedure for the mountains that are available online. And we use for rural and mountain communities to assess their smartness and to create for themselves some aims and objectives for smart transition. And actually we have involved the local communities by organizing regional stakeholders groups in those test areas because regional stakeholders group sit together. They are made by public administrations, private businesses and NGOs and they envision their future together. This is one of the values available for those. It is called the (inaudible). They sit together and say where are we now and where are we going if nothing changes. How do we get there. Especially making use of available technologies, of course, and after that, we say okay, are we actually getting there or not. Monitoring process. And the smart villages is very similar to something that Carola and Vassilis and Maarit were talking about.
Not everything is feasible. Envision in the future one should always bear in mind three main principles. Something must be desirable by the community. Something must be feasible, technologically feasible and something might be viable from an economic point of view. So with those principles in mind then the envisions process might begin. The villages might access their own smartness and create their own objectives and start working towards them. And I must say I have been very, very pleasantly surprised with the results by the project so far which we have seen little villages from Italy to France and Slovenia starting their own smart transition and started disseminating about their group practices to other mountain areas of Europe.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: I will add a question. This smart system, does it add complexity to what we have heard so far when talking about community networks? Does it add complexity in trying to have a bottom‑up approach, complexity at the technical level, complexity in the environment that you need to address challenges? Is there something that come on top of community network?
>> GIANLUCA LENTINI: You have to consider all these aspects when you sit down with regional stakeholders or people who have to take decisions. You have to consider the economical and social aspect. And you have to be really clear and really close and have to speak their language of the local population on that. And most of all especially when you exchange good practices or actions or (inaudible) for smartness you have to be extremely careful of the regulatory approach which is different from – in the different countries, even within the European Union, and those – also since we have also Swiss, Swiss partners it is completely different, for example, in the environment of Switzerland. We have created a wider context. But we didn’t want to have just this topdown research academic approach. We sat with the local population and saw whether the economic – the methodological approach results was actually working for them. To a certain extent it was. And to another extent it wasn’t at all. We have to start from scratch thanks to the input coming from the local.
One should never take for granted is the use of English with the local population. Because most of the material is available just in English from a – from the literature, from the good practice of our – and most of the people in local areas especially had – this is especially true but to the exclusive truth in Italy and France, Austria and do not speak English and need an interpretation of materials. That’s something that’s overlooked but it is quite fundamental.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: It is. Thank you for spotting this. We are really coming to the end. And I would have talked to all of you about questions about COVID and lessons learned, but I believe we won’t have time. We will address this hopefully. I am turning to the reporters, I guess you guys have a tough job and it is to come up with some bullets, if I understand, and submit it to the group, right?
>> Yes. Exactly. Can you hear me and see me correctly? Yes. Okay. Perfect. As you said my – let me introduce myself because I want – I’m Michael from the Geneva Internet platform. And I am writing a report for this session. And a full report will be available on Monday on the Geneva Internet website. Now I also have the challenging job of summing up the whole discussion and interventions of the speakers in to three main bullet points that will constitute take‑aways and messages from this session. I believe that I have included them already in the slides. So if they can also be shown I will read them out for you. Just a reminder that also the messages will be available for additional comments on the EuroDIG platform for you, the Moderator and the speakers.
This is a rough Consensus on what has been written. If you have any objections, please feel free to write them in the chat. To establish community networks it is crucial to build digital capacity both in terms of installation and maintenance of technical infrastructure and in terms of developing digital literacy programs that ensure users’ meaningful participation to the Internet. Let’s see if there are any added or any strong objections to this first message.
>> GIANLUCA LENTINI: Perhaps what is not reflected in this message is the engagement of the local communities in the governance of the community network. Somehow has to be reflected because a community network always involves active participation. So somehow there should be something there that hints to that.
>> In the added true messages I think I have reflected this element. So I would say – what about if I read the other two and if you feel this element is still missing I will reflect it so in the first message as well.
>> GIANLUCA LENTINI: Understood.
>> Thank you for the comment. Yes. There is a comment in the chat that we also have to include the point that was raised I think by the last speaker about the need of putting local language in to – keeping local language in to consideration. So maybe I don’t think I have included this, but I can include it in the message. Second message, there can be many existing challenges in establishing community networks on the regulation, funding and connectivity side just to name a few. However the technical aspects go hand in hand with a strong network of community support. Both the technology and the sense of community are crucial elements to ensure the success of community networks.
And the third message, there will be a little bit more about including the community in the participative process. Just looking quickly at the chat to see if there are any strong objections. Okay. There are some comments on the governance side. If we can move to the third message. On the human side community’s trust towards and participation in the networks are a tangible challenge. When establishing a new network it is important to rely on the common knowledge of existing community networks. However each process is different. In the creation phase it is crucial to involve the members of the community in the process so as to develop the community tailored solutions and showing the benefit of the network for the community members and obtaining community participation at every step of the process are some of the solutions. This last point touches on the comment raised before. Let me know if any aspect is missing.
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: May I ask a question? I have the feeling that it is not very – it is not as strong as it should be in terms of owning the infrastructure. So community networks do have a very strong let’s say part of owning and deciding for themselves on how they want to deploy, expand and maintain the infrastructure. And in the phrasing – the way the phrasing is done here, it does not reflect so much that it is – it is such an engagement from the community. So I would propose some different phrasing, perhaps not right now. But on – but on the follow‑up phrase.
>> Yes, thank you very much for the comment. I will rephrase it slightly after the session because we are running out of time. These messages will be e‑mailed to you by the end of the week. If you feel like this strong element, community is not there, you can comment and add it directly on the platform.
>> VASSILIS CHRYSSOS: Thank you.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Thank you. As I said not an easy job. But I believe you reflected most of what we are saying, but I agree what we like to see this is an Internet for the people by the people and this sense of community owning the project we all share in this room. We will come back to. Nice job. Not an easy job.
There were very dense conversations and I would like all of us to thank this wonderful panel. This is great work in 90 minutes to I hope give you a better grasp of what community network is. So stay tuned because there will be more of this in the coming days, months and years. Thank you very much for this. Thank you again studio for helping us, having these conversations and see you soon on the Internet and hopefully in reality. Bye. Thank you very much.
>> Thank you, Frederic, for doing a wonderful job.
>> ROBERTO GAETENO: I would like to thank the Moderator for doing a great session. I would like to apologize, a couple of glitches from the connect technical side and talk – I just want to mention one quick thing since we are talking about translation to local languages and so on. I would like to remind you that in the afternoon we will have a session that although the main title is universal acceptance, it is going to talk about also multilingualism in the Internet. And it is going to be the experience also among other experiences of the folks that are supporting the use of Folian language on the Internet. And this is one of the local languages that is spoken by the – in this region.
May I also remind you that you can continue this excellent conversation in the Forum. You can access the Forum from the main – from the main screen where you connected today.
Thank you, everyone. And bye.
>> FREDERIC DONCK: Ciao, Roberto. Bye‑bye, everyone.