European forum discusses alternative models of Internet access
Luca Belli, senior researcher at the Center for Technology and Society (CTS) of FGV’s Rio de Janeiro Law School (Direito Rio), participated in the European Internet Governance Forum (EuroDIG) held on June 6 and 7 in Tallinn, Estonia. At the event, he gave a lecture on community networks and alternative models of Internet access.
EuroDIG was hosted by the Council of Europe and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Belli was a panelist alongside the Director of the European Commission Broadband Competence Offices (BCO), Jan Droege, the Director of the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), Lise Fuhr, the Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development of Georgia, Giorgi Dapkviashvili, and the Director of Small and Medium Telecom Operators’ Association of Georgia, Ucha Seturi.
Belli pointed out that, at the moment, four billion people around the world still lack Internet access. According to him, it seems evident that the traditional model of Internet access provision has limits, and alternative models must be explored.
“Community connectivity represents a true paradigm shift. Community networks are bottom-up initiatives, where the infrastructure is conceived, built and maintained by the individuals that subsequently use the network. This type of initiative offers several positive externalities: besides fostering Internet access, they also promote digital literacy among communities who build the networks, while stimulating the creation of new e-commerce and e-government services, and even creating actual smart villages”, said Belli.
Belli’s presentation was based on the book titled Community Connectivity: Building the Internet from Scratch, which explores governance, regulation and various case studies of community networks around the world. Published by Direito Rio, the book is one of the official outcomes of the last edition of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum.
Go to this website to access the full debate.