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Networking Organizations + Initiatives + Resources

Table of Contents

The current COVID 19 Pandemic has brought to the fore our need and increasing dependence on networking, virtual conversations, working meetings and online connection with colleagues, friends and families, at a distance.  Whether we are in a small isolated mountain village or in an inner city neighborhood, this is a reality of our times.  Our networked communication systems and environments can be a source of division, confusion and noise, but they can also be a gateway to lifelong learning, knowledge sharing and illuminating ways forward, together.  This Report seeks to facilitate the latter.

The Mountain Partnership is made up of organizations and institutions in countries around the world, most of which maintain web sites providing links to many programs, email and social media accounts and other networking tools and applications, connected by local ISPs, national incumbent providers, community networks, satellite services or dedicated research networks.  

Most mountain regions and communities around the world, for obvious, well-researched reasons, are to a great extent, far on the wrong side of the ‘digital divide’.  Some of this divide can be bridged through partnerships with NGOs and companies whose missions and actions are dedicated to the provision of equitable access, affordable computers, peripherals and mobile devices, community networking infrastructure, open source software and applications, training, education and funds.

Scale is an important context in considering tele-networking.  This Report takes a cursory look at global networking, regional networking, local and personal networking, all of which are rapidly evolving along with other cross-fertilizing technical advances. 

Being adequately, equitably and affordably networked is critical to our efforts.  But once connected, what’s most important is what gets done by our using the net.  Applications are the key.  This Section includes a focus on tools and applications that support research, learning, informed decision-making and grounded actions in and for mountain areas sustainability.

This section shows that there are existing and newly emerging opportunities for partnerships and support relationships needed to achieve mountain areas sustainability objectives.


International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

Geneva https://www.itu.int

The ITU conducts global networking data and statistics, meetings, partnerships and initiatives.

The ITU Regional Development Forums

(RDFs) provide a yearly opportunity for dialogue between Regional Offices and decision-makers of ITU Member States and Sector Members on the activities carried out at the regional level. 

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Pages/regional-development-forums.aspx

The RDFs provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the implementation of the 2018-2021 ITU Regional Initiatives​ approved by the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17) held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They ​also discuss matters related to Study Groups, Membership, Partnerships, ITU Centres of Excellence, as well as regional contributions to the implementation of WSIS Action Lines and SDGs.

Statistics: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/default.aspx


World Summit on the Information Society

(WSIS), UN + ITU 

WSIS Forum 2021 will be held from 17-21 May 2021.  The Agenda and Programme of the

Forum will be built on the basis of the submissions received during the Open Consultation Process (OCP).   https://www.itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2020/Home/OCP2021

ITU Digital World 2021, takes place in Ha Noi, Viet Nam from 12 to 15 October 2021 on the theme of “Building the digital world. Together.”​​​

The ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference WTDC-21 ​will be hosted by the Government of Ethiopia, to take place in Addis Ababa from 8-19 November 2021.

WTDC-21 will be a landmark digital development conference and a unique opportunity for the global community to develop innovative approaches and forge new models of collaboration to overcome digital development challenges and accelerate connectivity and digital solutions in the final Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Conferences/WTDC/


Cultural Survival

https://www.culturalsurvival.org

www.cs.org

Advancing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights & Cultures Worldwide  

Cultural Survival advocates for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and supports the self-determination, cultures and resilience of Indigenous communities since 1972.  Our work is based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We seize opportunities to use our experience and leadership in advocacy, media, public education, and programs by providing platforms to amplify and empower the voices of Indigenous Peoples, as they work to affirm their rights to self-determination, their lands, cultures and valuable ecosystems that are essential for the entire planet.  CS now has 420 Urgent Public Service Announcements on COVID-19 available in 130+ Indigenous Languages.

2021 Call for Proposals for Indigenous Community Radio Stations

Application Deadline for Concept Proposals: February 12, 2021

https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/2021-call-proposals-indigenous-community-radio-stations

The Indigenous Community Media Fund is part of Cultural Survival’s Community Media Program, with a goal to empower Indigenous-owned and Indigenous-led community radio as a platform to inform, entertain, educate, and organize according to their own needs and collective

interests as communities.   Indigenous community radio stations and media from Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Nepal, north-east India, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa are eligible to apply to this round of funding.

2021 Indigenous Community Media Youth Fellowship Call for Proposals

https://www.culturalsurvival.org/programs/community-media/youth-fellowship

Submission Deadline: March 5, 2021

Applicants must reside in one of the following countries: Mexico, Central America, Colombia,

Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Nepal and northern India.

Our program provides ten fellowships annually to Indigenous youth communicators between the ages of 17-25. Each fellow receives $2,500 USD to implement their project during a 8 to 10 month period. Applicants must be able to work and travel independently and be responsible for implementing their proposed projects. The fellows will work jointly with a Cultural Survival staff member and a personal local mentor, who will provide support throughout the process.

For Indigenous Women, Studying Virtually Requires Triple The Effort

https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/indigenous-women-studying-virtually-requires-triple-effort

See how COVID-19 is affecting Indigenous communities.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?ll=20.394777072361574%2C-51.328125&z=3&mid=1YgF6PoTe0HSeEmNVnMBSDq7vtWJK1Y4K

Cultural Survival’s COVID-19 response features a holistic, multi-layered approach including continuing to curate and maintain a global monitoring system for COVID-19 for Indigenous Peoples, by Indigenous Peoples using Google maps technology to document COVID-19 cases and related human rights violations.


Data Analytics Can Improve How We Design Broadband Strategies

https://www.benton.org/blog/data-analytics-can-improve-how-we-design-broadband-strategies

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society    Feb. 16, 2021

Internet access is essential for economic development and helping to deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

As part of the World Bank’s Digital Economy for Africa program, a new assessment approach has been developed to help test the effectiveness of different universal broadband strategies. For example, the United Nations Broadband Commission has been discussing a highly ambitious target of ensuring everyone globally has access to at least 10 Mbps by 2030.

The approach has been adapted for six East and West African countries, including Côte D’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Using cellular technologies is one of the cheapest ways to provide wide-area broadband connectivity. Therefore, the aim is to assess the cost of deploying either 3G or 4G, and whether to use a fiber optic or wireless backhaul connection (to link new cell towers back into the closest fiber Point of Presence). Infrastructure sharing strategies are also explored to quantify the impact of passive or active sharing business models, along with exploring a Shared Rural Network.


Global Footprint Network

https://www.footprintnetwork.org/

Global Footprint Network is changing how the world manages its natural resources, offering:

  • Metrics that are simple, meaningful, and scalable
  • Actionable Insights about natural resource consumption and capacity
  • Tools and analysis to guide informed decisions

Biocapacity Data     https://data.footprintnetwork.org/

Free Public Data Set    https://www.footprintnetwork.org/licenses/public-data-package-free/


Regen Network Development, Inc.

https://www.regen.network/

The Open Marketplace for Climate Solutions:  Regen Registry allows land stewards to sell their ecosystem services directly to buyers around the world.  Agriculture, forestry, and fishing represents the vast majority of civilizations interactions with our lands and waters, and yet most of these interactions are extractive and result in ecological degradation. What would it look like if we could reverse this trend, transforming these interactions so that they are regenerative? Regen Network is a startup focused on compensating land stewards for good land management by expanding the payments for eco-services market.  We are building two core applications:

1. Regen Ledger—a Proof-of-Stake blockchain leveraging the Cosmos SDK that is focused on ecological data

2. Regen Registry—an ecosystem service credit marketplace


Internet Society (ISOC)

Reston, VA + Geneva      https://www.internetsociety.org/

Grants & Awards:  The Internet Society encourages innovation and fresh thinking. We provide grants and awards to efforts that support the Internet and the positive difference it can make to people everywhere.   https://www.internetsociety.org/grants-and-awards/ 

2022 Action Plan: A Healthy Internet for Future Generations

https://www.internetsociety.org/blog/2021/12/introducing-the-2022-action-plan-a-healthy-internet-for-future-generations/

Indigenous Connectivity Summit 2021

Oct. 12-15 2021 (online)  

https://www.internetsociety.org/blog/2020/04/indigenous-connectivity-summit-policy-recommendations-helping-policymakers-make-inclusive-decisions/

Partnering to build Community Networks around the world.

https://www.internetsociety.org/issues/community-networks/

Tusheti Community Network One Year Later: Creating Impact, Sustainability, and Scalability

The Internet Society, together with its local partners, launched the first community network in Georgia, in the mountainous region of Tusheti, in September 2017.  The Mountain Community Network is expected to become operational in the summer of 2019.

Read the Tusheti Case Study:

https://www.internetsociety.org/resources/doc/2017/tusheti-case-study/

Connecting Tusheti: The Impact of Community Networking in Europe’s Highest Settlements

Updates on Our Community Network Built in Tusheti

https://www.internetsociety.org/resources/doc/2018/connecting-tusheti/

“Hauling the Internet to an Ex-Soviet Outpost High in the Caucasus Mountains”

The New York Times profiled the Tusheti Community Network. The work was extra challenging thanks to the difficult terrain and unwieldy nature of loads having to be brought up by packhorse.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/05/technology/caucuses-mountains-internet.html

Connecting “Los Nevados” on the Roof of the Andes

https://www.internetsociety.org/blog/2017/07/connecting-los-nevados-on-the-roof-of-the-andes/

Internet Society – Growing the Internet – 4 July 2017 Beyond the Net Journal: Venezuela Chapter

Reaching this tiny village, located in the Sierra Nevada National Park, 2,711 m. above sea level, can be a real adrenaline adventure. No less challenging was bringing Internet access to 2,000 inhabitants living in this remote area.   “Empowering “Los Nevados” through ICTs usage for social benefit” was funded in 2016 by the Internet Society with its Venezuela Chapter.

Farmers, who represents the majority of the population, are exchanging seeds and marketing their products. Artisans are promoting their crafts online.  “Not only los Nevaderos are now enjoying the Internet connection with unlimited services but also the visitors.” Paola explains: “It’s hard to imagine because it’s a place so difficult to reach, but about 500 people per month are visiting the village. Hikers use it as a base for climbing Pico Bolivar, the highest mountain in Venezuela (4,978 m). When there was no Internet connection all payments were only in cash, and people were not aware of it until they arrived at the site. Now tourists are able to book accommodations and make online payments.”

The Civil Registry of the village can finally provide inhabitants with any digital document downloadable from public websites. It is also possible to keep records of births and deaths in digital format, sharing the data with institutions. The “Village Radio Station” is using streaming technology to share in real time the news from the world. Los Nevados also take pride of publishing stories and photos about the community to preserve their traditions.

This project is empowering the life of Los Nevados and helping achieve SDG goals 3,4,8,9.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXXce0Bb6NU&feature=emb_logo


Panorama Solutions  

https://panorama.solutions/en/about-panorama-solutions-healthy-planet

A partnership promoting examples of inspiring, replicable solutions across a range of conservation and development topics, to enable cross-sectoral learning and successes.


Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF)

(ISOC W4C partner) http://defindia.org/


Wireless for Communities (W4C)

ISOC has funded work in India:  http://wforc.in/

Wireless for Communities is an initiative of Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) and the Internet Society (ISOC) with support by various partners. Launched in 2010.   W4C involves line-of-sight and low-cost Wi-Fi equipment, which utilise the unlicensed spectrum bands — 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz — to create community-owned and community-operated wireless networks in rural and remote locations of India to democratise access and make it available to all.


weADAPT

weADAPT is a collaborative platform on climate change adaptation issues. It allows practitioners, researchers and policy-makers to access credible, high-quality information and connect with one another.  weADAPT is partly funded by core support to the Stockholm Environment Institute from Sida.   https://www.weadapt.org/

  • Community Based Adaptation Network (CBA Network)
  • Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platforms
  • SDC Climate Change & Environment Network
  • Adaptation Knowledge Platform for Asia
  • Linking content through tagging: weADAPT uses keyword tagging technology to link related content together and make it easy to explore and discover content.
  • Taxonomies for Linked Data: We are developing taxonomies to improve the quality, accuracy and usefulness of our keyword tagging in weADAPT, and other platforms.
  • Knowledge Graphs offer exceptionally powerful ways of connecting and querying content. The weADAPT team are currently exploring ways of leveraging knowledge graphs for climate action with partners REEEP and Semantic Web Company.

Association for Progressive Communications

https://www.apc.org/en/our-work

APC hosted Mountain Forum services beginning in the 1990s.

For the strategic period between 2020-2023, APC’s focus is to create a just and sustainable world by harnessing the collective power of activists, organisations, excluded groups, communities and social movements, to challenge existing power structures and ensure that the internet is developed and governed as a global public good.

“Connecting the Unconnected: Supporting community networks and other community-based connectivity initiatives” is a project being implemented by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica that aims to directly support the development of community networks, with funds from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).   From January 2020 to December 2023, APC will continue the work to address human capacity and sustainability challenges, along with the policy and regulatory obstacles that limit the growth of community-based connectivity initiatives, including “Supporting Community-led Approaches to Addressing the Digital Divide” is a project implemented by APC in partnership with Rhizomatica that aims to develop the models, capacities and sustainability of community networks.

https://www.apc.org/en/project/connecting-unconnected-supporting-community-networks-and-other-community-based-connectivity In 2016 APC launched its digital storytelling platform: http://stories.apc.org


Rhizomatica

(Mexico):  Peter Bloom

Our mission is to support communities to build and maintain self-governed and owned communication infrastructure. Our approach combines regulatory activism and reform, critical engagement with technology and the development of decentralized telecommunications infrastructure, and direct community involvement and participation

Rhizomatica:  2015 Wired Article:

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/diy-cellular-phone-networks-mexico/

Introducing OpenCellular: Telecom Infra Project,  An open source wireless access platform |


Mexico – Community Wi-Fi (Viasat)

The “Community Wi-Fi” model harnesses a commercially successful methodology for connecting the unconnected, particularly in areas that had long been considered uneconomical for terrestrial operators. The program has also been undergoing trials across Viasat-2 coverage and is being expanded to many Central America and Caribbean countries in the 2020-2021 timeframe. Community Wi-Fi will scale and roll out globally with the ViaSat-3 constellation, beginning in 2021.


AlterMundi

Argentina  http://www.altermundi.net/

Activists of free community networks and free software, who have joined forces to form an NGO that will facilitate the deployment of these networks in digitally excluded areas.


Wireless Networking in the Developing World

Wireless Networking in the Developing World is a free book about designing, implementing, and maintaining low-cost wireless networks.  The book is a practical guide to designing and building wireless networks in local communities written by subject matter experts who have vast experience in deploying wireless networks in the field and connecting communities to the global Internet. This excellent publication and web site includes case studies, photos and many more helpful resources.  Last edition: 2013.

http://wndw.net/


The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI)

https://a4ai.org/   is an initiative of the World Wide Web Foundation https://webfoundation.org/ , a global coalition working to drive down the cost of internet access in low- and middle-income countries through policy and regulatory reform. Affordable and equal access to quality internet is essential to unlocking the full potential of least developed countries and for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  “Since 2019, at least 35 countries have restricted access to the internet or social media.”

Sonia Jorge, Executive Director.

A4AI 2020 Affordability Report   https://a4ai.org/affordability-report/


Guifi.net: community commons networking in Spain, with almost 37.000 working nodes. https://guifi.net/

On the Guifi.net community network economics

Computer Networks, Volume 168, 26 February 2020

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1389128619309077


Caribbean Express (CX) – is a new-build submarine cable system that is being developed by Ocean Networks

https://www.oceannetworks.com/copy-of-projects

The carrier neutral CX system will connect Points of Presence between West Palm Beach (Florida) and Balboa (Panama) with branch connections to Mexico and Columbia. In addition, the system will have future connectivity to Cuba, Grand Cayman, Guatemala, Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Ocean Networks says it plans to spend $300 million on the effort, with funding help from Commenda Inc., an Atlanta-based merchant bank. The CX system will utilize the latest Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology and have 18 fiber pairs.  The CX system will fill a requirement for the emerging markets of Central America by providing low latency connectivity to the NAP of Americas at Miami (Florida) and the Jacksonville (Florida) NAP, and will be the only system in the Caribbean region that can offer full fiber pairs to the market.  The planned Ready for Service date is Q1 2024.


Nepal Wireless Project

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepal_Wireless_Networking_Project

Mahabir Pun – video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25aFHc95voc 

Empowering mountain community to maintain and build wireless network,

E-Networking Research and Development, Kathmandu


First Mile

http://firstmile.ca      info@firstmile.ca

Across Canada, First Nations are building broadband systems and using them to deliver services in their communities. Outside of major centres, many remote and rural First Nations remain underserved.  The First Mile website is about celebrating the achievements of remote and rural First Nations with information and communication technologies (ICT).  The website brings together three linked projects: Research: First Nations Innovation, Outreach: First Mile, Policy: First Mile Connectivity Consortium

First Mile Listserv, hosted by the University of New Brunswick, features news, updates and discussion about community broadband systems in Canada’s rural and northern regions with a focus on remote Indigenous communities.  

Contact: Susan O’Donnell    susanodo@unb.ca

Rob McMahon, Associate Professor, Media and Technology Studies, Department of Political Science , University of Alberta       rob.mcmahon@ualberta.ca 

Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Community Investment Program grants fund innovative community internet projects to build a resilient, trusted and secure internet for all Canadians.      https://www.cira.ca/improving-canadas-internet/grants

Our (March 2, 2021) call for grant applications is now open!   Apply by April 14.

Who can apply:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Registered charities
  • Academics at universities and colleges in Canada

What are our priority funding areas:

  • Infrastructure
  • Digital literacy
  • Cybersecurity
  • Community leadership

While CIRA’s granting program will consider applications that benefit all Canadians, we’re especially looking for initiatives that benefit:

  • Students (kindergarten to grade 12 and post-secondary)
  • Northern, rural and Indigenous communities

Grants are available up to $100,000.   In addition, one grant is available up to $250,000.

Maureen James, Community Investment Program Manager


ECOSIA

https://www.ecosia.org/ Christian Kroll, founder.

Ecosia is a search engine based in Berlin, Germany, that donates 80% or more of its profits to nonprofit organizations that focus on reforestation and planting trees where they are needed most.  It considers itself a social business, is CO2-negative and claims to support full financial transparency and protect the privacy of its users.  Ecosia is B Lab-certified.


Indigenous Broadband Networks

Indigenous Broadband Networks (U.S.), a project of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Community Networks https://muninetworks.org/content/indigenous-networks 


Digital Inclusion in Rural Areas

A Qualitative Exploration of Challenges Faced by People From Isolated Communities

Teresa Correa, Faculty of Communication and Literature, Diego Portales University, Vergara 240, Santiago, Chile

Isabel Pavez, Faculty of Communication and Humanities, Finis Terrae University, Pedro de Valdivia 1509, Providencia, Santiago, Chile

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcc4.12154

This study explored the interplay between contextual and individual factors related to Internet adoption in isolated rural communities. By investigating 10 remote villages throughout Chile that received Internet access infrastructure in 2010–2011, we identified 3 areas in which contextual and individual factors are intertwined.


SpaceX/StarLink

https://www.starlink.com/

New Research Highlights Concerns Whether Starlink Will Meet US Federal Broadband Capacity Requirements.

The FCC awarded Elon Musk’s Starlink $900M to serve 640,000 locations across the U.S. at the 100 Mbps/20 Mbps broadband performance tier.  The Fiber Broadband Association commissioned research firm Cartesian to develop an independent analysis and a model to help the FCC analyze whether Starlink is likely to meet the RDOF public interest obligations. Study results indicate that Starlink will fail to meet the RDOF public interest requirements on a nationwide basis, with over 56% of subscribers expected to experience service degradation during peak periods.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210208005781/en/New-Research-Highlights-Concerns-Whether-Starlink-Will-Meet-Federal-Broadband-Capacity-Requirements


Satellite majors SpaceX, Kuiper, OneWeb head to India to close digital divide

by Gagandeep Kaur | Aug 12, 2021 https://www.fiercewireless.com/operators/satellite-majors-spacex-kuiper-oneweb-head-to-india-to-close-digital-divide

Lately, several satellite firms, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Amazon’s Project Kuiper and Bharti Airtel and the British Government’s OneWeb, have made a beeline for the Indian market. There are also media reports of Canada’s Telesat collaborating with the Tata Group to enter the Indian market, but this is yet to be confirmed.

SpaceX has already started pre-booking for its low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications and hopes to launch the services next year. And OneWeb has recently gotten a license to provide global mobile personal communication by satellite or Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) in India. It is only recently that VSAT licensees were approved to offer backhaul services for wireless networks. Both SpaceX and OneWeb plan to collaborate with Indian vendors for gear.

It is easy to see why prominent satellite firms are setting up bases in India. A key reason is that 50% of India’s vast population (around 1.3. billion) is yet to be connected. This is mainly because of the high cost of setting up a network in rural areas with low returns spread over a long time. Further, varied terrain adds to the challenge of setting up networks in rural areas.

Satellite is being touted as one of the technologies that can provide connectivity in remote and difficult-to-reach areas. While India has an overall teledensity (including wireless and wireline) of 88.27%, most users are from urban areas, which has a teledensity of 140.93%, while rural teledensity is just 60.44%.


OneWeb

Oct. 14, 2021.  OneWeb confirms Successful Launch of 36 Satellites from Vostochny

https://oneweb.net/media-center/oneweb-confirms-successful-launch-of-36-satellites-from-vostochny

  • OneWeb confirms successful launch and contact with all 36 satellites, bringing total in-orbit constellation to 358 satellites
  • OneWeb has now launched more than half of its LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity
  • By end of Q4 2021, OW will provide coverage everywhere above 50deg N. Full global coverage expected by end of 2022.
  • OneWeb continues to gain momentum, with its Service Demonstrations now live to showcase connectivity services to partners and end customers

OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, today confirmed its successful launch of 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. This latest successful launch brings OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 358 satellites, over half of OneWeb’s entire 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.

These advancements, along with other recent partnership announcements with AT&T, Hughes Network Systems, Peraton, and BT will further OneWeb towards its goal of bringing improved digital communication services to some of the hardest to reach parts of the world.


China is developing plans for a 13,000-satellite megaconstellation

by Andrew Jones — April 21, 2021

https://spacenews.com/china-is-developing-plans-for-a-13000-satellite-communications-megaconstellation/

China is to oversee the construction and operation of a national satellite internet megaconstellation through coordinating the country’s major space actors.  Plans are moving ahead to alter earlier constellation plans by space sector state-owned enterprises and possibly make these part of a larger “Guowang” or “national network” satellite internet project.

Spectrum allocation filings submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) by China in September last year revealed plans to construct two similarly named “GW” low Earth orbit constellations totaling 12,992 satellites.  The filings indicate plans for GW to consist of sub-constellations ranging from 500-1,145 kilometers in altitude with inclinations between 30-85 degrees. The satellites would operate across a range of frequency bands.

Bao Weimin, a senior official with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC), China’s main space contractor, made a first public acknowledgement of the megaconstellation plan in an interview with Shanghai Securities News March 7, stating “we are planning and developing space-based internet satellites and have launched test satellites.”


OpenRAN

OpenRAN is a movement within the cellular industry to design cellular networks using generic equipment modules so that networks can be divorced from proprietary technologies and can be controlled by software.  Industry has created the O-RAN Alliance  https://www.o-ran.org/  that has developed open-source software that controls all aspects of the cellular network. The cellular carriers love the concept because Open RAN frees them to develop unique solutions for customers that are software-driven and not limited by proprietary hardware and software.

OpenRAN, enabling open ecosystem of GPP-based RAN solutions, is a project of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), formed in 2016 as an engineering-focused, collaborative methodology for building and deploying global telecom network infrastructure, with the goal of enabling global access for all.   As of 2020, TIP has 14 labs throughout 8 countries around the world including, Spain, Italy, USA, Indonesia, UK, Japan, Germany, and Brazil.


Solid

https://inrupt.com/solid

Solid is a mid-course correction for the Web by its inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. It realizes Tim’s original vision for the Web as a medium for the secure, decentralized exchange of public and private data.   Solid is a technology for organizing data, applications, and identities on the web. Solid enables richer choices for people, organizations and app developers by building on existing web standards.

Inrupt

https://inrupt.com

The next web.


The Mozilla Foundation

The Mozilla Foundation works to ensure the internet remains a public resource that is open and accessible to us all.   https://foundation.mozilla.org/  

“Of all the groups we work with regularly, very few have had the impact that our collaborations with Mozilla have had over the years…it’s absolutely a match made in heaven.”

Jenny Toomey, Ford Foundation


IEEE Sustainable ICT Initiative

https://sustainableict.ieee.org/about

This portal is meant to serve the broad IEEE community as a focal point for news, technology updates and information on conferences, publications as well as educational and standards activities on Sustainable ICT throughout IEEE and beyond.  Launched in early 2015 through the support of IEEE Future Directions’ new initiatives committee, the Sustainable ICT initiative’s mission statement has been defined as to build a holistic approach to sustainability through ICT by incorporating green metrics throughout IEEE technical domains.

The IEEE Communications Society, in which various technical committees have been very active on Sustainable ICT, manages the initiative. Among these, the Technical Committee on Transmission, Access and Optical Systems (TAOS) and the Technical Committee on Green Communications and Computing (TCGCC) have driven various activities on Green and Sustainable ICT. The Sustainable ICT initiative seeks to build upon such leadership in the Communications Society and build bridges with Sustainable ICT work in other IEEE units (Societies, Councils and other initiatives) as well as ultimately in other organizations.

Webinar on Sustainable Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

September 14, 2021     https://sustainableict.ieee.org/webinar-series

“The Role of AI, Communication and Transactive Energy Systems in Sustainability”

The global 2022 IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Challenge.  Deadline: July 13, 2022.

https://ctu.ieee.org/#challenge


Cloudflare, Inc.

www.cloudflare.com   

Cloudflare Sets Out to Create New Blueprint for a Zero-Emissions Internet.

Building on the efficiency of its global network, Cloudflare powers the Internet with renewable energy and is removing all of its historical emissions. The company also launches multiple tools to help organizations build sustainability into their applications, websites, and networks

Cloudflare, Inc., the security, performance, and reliability company helping to build a better Internet, today announced it will help power an Internet with zero carbon emissions. Now, not only will one of the world’s largest and most interconnected networks operate on 100 percent renewable energy, but Cloudflare will also remove all historical carbon its global network has emitted since its founding by 2025. The Internet is responsible for approximately 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year—roughly comparable to the annual CO2 emissions of the entire aviation industry worldwide. Now any Internet property on Cloudflare’s network—which today already consists of 17 percent of the web—will automatically reduce emissions and seamlessly contribute to a greener, more sustainable world.


Climate Action Tech

Climate Action Tech is a community of practice of tech workers that provides support and guidance for systemic change in our organisations and industries, to face the climate crisis.

https://climateaction.tech/


Green Web Foundation

https://www.thegreenwebfoundation.org/

In 2006, the Foundation started working with a small team on a project that aimed to make the kind of energy that powers the internet visible: green for renewables, grey for fossil-fuel powered. In 2009, The Green Web Foundation became a recognized not-for-profit organisation in the Netherlands. In 2010, it made a number of tools to make that data easier to look up, and has now expanded its offerings to focus on representing the needs of smaller and medium size organizations online, and actively building a professional community around the idea of an internet that is green, open and diverse.

Announcing the Green Web Fellowship programme

10th June 2021

We’re over the moon to share news with you about a new project made possible by a grant from the Internet Society Foundation. We’re starting our first funded Green Web Fellowship program, exploring the role climate justice plays in being a responsible technologist.


Climate Breakthrough Project

Climate Breakthrough Project, formerly known as the Climate Strategies Accelerator, launched in 2015 as an initiative of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in partnership with the Oak Foundation, the IKEA Foundation, the JPB Foundation, and the Good Energies Foundation.   https://www.climatebreakthroughproject.org/

Breakthrough leaders solve problems by creating new solutions that overcome, or entirely circumvent, seemingly intractable barriers. We give multimillion dollar grants to individuals or small teams with a track record of successfully building new projects and an ability to think big. We want people who will have the vision and discipline to generate systemic change and make a global impact within ten years. We fund people, not projects or organizations. We’re looking for highly motivated, innovative, strategic, and tenacious individuals or teams (small teams, two to four people) with a record of success.


NDIA

https://www.digitalinclusion.org/

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance is a unified voice for home broadband access, public broadband access, personal devices, and local technology training and support programs. NDIA is a community of digital inclusion practitioners and advocates. We work collaboratively to craft, identify and disseminate financial and operational resources for digital inclusion programs while serving as a bridge to policymakers and the general public.  NDIA’s Four Pillars of Work in the US: Practitioner Support, Policy, Awareness, Data & Research

Angela Siefer, Executive Director   angela@digitalinclusion.org


Edison Alliance

https://www.weforum.org/the-edison-alliance

Geneva, Switzerland, 28 January 2021 — The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing gaps and inequalities: almost half of the global population, some 3.6 billion people, remain offline and broadband services are too expensive for 50% of the population in developed countries.  To ensure global and equitable access to the digital economy, the World Economic Forum is launching the Essential Digital Infrastructure and Services Network, or EDISON Alliance, towork with governments and industries to accelerate digital inclusion.

The EDISON Alliance cultivates meaningful partnerships to build a “network of networks” to leverage connectivity as a key lever across the Sustainable Development Goals.  For 2021, the alliance will focus on health and healthcare, education, and financial inclusion.

A multi-sector Board will steer the Alliance. Hans Vestberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Verizon, will serve as Chair of the Alliance and Board. He is joined by Paula Ingabire, Rwanda’s Minister for ICT and Innovation; Ajay Banga, the Executive Chairman of MasterCard; Shobana Kamineni Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals; and Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. The World Economic Forum will serve as the secretariat and platform for the Alliance.  Derek O’Halloran is Head of the Digital Economy and New Value Creation Platform at the World Economic Forum.


Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net)

https://fireadaptednetwork.org/

Launched in 2013, the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net) is demonstrating, innovating, and rapidly and broadly disseminating practices that improve community wildfire resilience. Comprised of two dozen core members and more than 160 affiliates, FAC Net and its partners are changing the future of fire.

Networks are particularly well-suited to adaptive problems — like our wildfire problem — because they are responsive, adaptable and designed to evolve.  FAC Net is supported by a cooperative partnership agreement between The Nature Conservancy, USDA Forest Service and agencies of the Department of the Interior through a sub award to the Watershed Research and Training Center.


Global Ecotourism Network

https://www.globalecotourismnetwork.org/


Columbia University’s Earth Institute: Initiative on Communication and Sustainability

Climate and Sustainability Communications Network

https://sustcomm.ei.columbia.edu/people

Columbia University’s Earth Institute is starting a new initiative to assess, develop and disseminate communications innovations that can speed and spread progress on climate change and other sustainability challenges. It is headed by well-known journalist and author Andrew Revkin, ar667@columbia.edu .

The Initiative on Communication and Sustainability will, among other things, develop toolkits and forums to help scientists and journalists communicate more effectively with each other and with the public and policymakers. It will put a particular emphasis on bridging the sciences, arts and humanities.

The Initiative envisions starting partnerships with outside media outlets and nongovernmental organizations, developing tools to help scientists and journalists more effectively explain the implications of climate change, and exploring ways to convey data using novel story-telling methods and visualizations. The initiative will work within the university to develop workshops, events, and undergraduate and graduate courses.


When Being Connected is Not Enough.

An Analysis of the Second and Third Levels of the Digital Divide in a Developing Country

December 16, 2020     https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3749699

Abstract:  The Internet has been identified as a tool to overcome poverty; by improving communication, facilitating innovation, and driving economic growth. However, as seen in studies on the benefits of Internet adoption and use, the welfare effect of technology is not only based on its adoption, but also on the type of use. In this study, drawing on the Uses and Gratifications Theory, we identified distinct classifications and predictors of Internet activities (second-level digital divide) and Internet outcomes (third-level digital divide) relevant to Sub-Saharan Africa. Gender, age, and educational level are key predictors of the second-level digital divide, while educational level and Internet use patterns affect the third-level digital divide.


Policy options for digital infrastructure strategies

A simulation model for broadband universal service in Africa

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2102.03561.pdf     Edward Oughton, PhD, George Mason U., Feb. 6, 2021

This paper develops open-source software to test broadband universal service strategies which meet the 10 Mbps target being considered by the UN Broadband Commission. The private and government costs of different infrastructure decisions are quantified in six East and West African countries (Côte D`Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda). The results provide strong evidence that `leapfrogging` straight to 4G in unconnected areas is the least-cost option for providing broadband universal service, with savings between 13-51% over 3G. The results also demonstrate how the extraction of spectrum and tax revenues in unviable markets provide no net benefit, as for every 1takeninrevenue,a1 infrastructure subsidy is required from government to achieve broadband universal service. Importantly, the use of a Shared Rural Network in unviable locations provides impressive cost savings (up to 78%), while retaining the benefits of dynamic infrastructure competition in viable urban and suburban areas.


Policy Choices Can Help Keep Universal Broadband Targets Affordable:

A Spatial Model of 4G and 5G Roll-Out in Developing Countries

Edward Oughton, George Mason University + University of Oxford; Jim Hall, University of Oxford; Niccoló Comini, World Bank; Vivien Foster, World Bank

December 15, 2020    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3749222

Abstract: In recognition of the transformative opportunities that broadband connectivity presents, the United Nations Broadband Commission has committed the international community to accelerate universal access across the developing world.  This paper compares the global cost-effectiveness of different infrastructure strategies for the developing world to achieve universal 4G or 5G mobile broadband. Utilizing remote sensing and geospatial infrastructure simulation, least-cost network designs are developed for eight representative low and middle-income countries (Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Pakistan, Albania, Peru and Mexico), the results from which form the basis for aggregation to the global level.  The cost of meeting the UN Broadband Commission target of a minimum 10 Mbps per user is estimated at $1.7 trillion.  By creating a favorable regulatory environment, governments can bring down these costs by as much as three quarters – to $0.5 trillion, and avoid the need for public subsidy.

https://ssrn.com/abstract=3749222     or      http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3749222


Digital technologies cut off access to land

February 9, 2021, by FIAN International Staff, originally published by FIAN International

As corporate giants discuss “Tech for Good” at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, recent findings show that *digitalization may increase existing inequalities. A study published by FIAN International ‘Disruption or Déjà Vu? Digitalization, Land and Human Rights’ reveals how digital technologies have become new tools for land grabs and sources of profits. Based on research conducted in Brazil, Indonesia, Georgia, India and Rwanda, the study shows that the use of digital tools in land governance exacerbates existing forms of exclusion.


The Nobel Prize Summit

https://www.nobelprize.org/events/nobel-prize-summit/2021

Our Planet, Our Future, 26-28 April 2021, Virtual event

The first Nobel Prize Summit brings together Nobel Prize laureates, scientists, policymakers, business leaders, and youth leaders to explore the question: What can be achieved in this decade to put the world on a path to a more sustainable, more prosperous future for all of humanity?

Across three days, the virtual event will combine keynotes and lively discussion with live performance and theatre.  The first Nobel Prize Summit will convene talks from Nobel laureates and conversations among experts from the science, policy, arts, and youth activist communities. It will bring together the world’s brightest and most creative thinkers to focus on three key areas critical to the future of humanity:

Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss

Reducing Inequality

Technologies with the Power to Transform the Way We Live and Work

The summit will ask: what can we learn from our collective response to the global pandemic? And, how can societies distinguish facts from fiction in a new information ecosystem?

The Nobel Prize Summit is hosted by the Nobel Foundation and organized by the National Academy of Sciences in partnership with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre/Beijer Institute.