CNX 2020 saw a new segment called “Voices from the Community”, which showcased short videos from different regions where community networks are deployed. These videos highlighted the impact stories, experiences, and local contexts that should be considered in the deployment of community networks. These were the videos and case stories that were showcased through the ten days.
In Conversation with Senthil Kumar about Open Free Net: In this video, Sethil kumar explains the objective behind setting up this community network, which was to ensure that there is no digital divide across rural areas. He also explains why this problem cannot be solved, only by setting up the internet and involves innovations.
In Conversation with Svetlana Zens from Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB): In the video, Ms Svetlana Zens from Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) highlights the issue of the Internet Shut Down case in Myanmar. She shares why community networks are important in such areas.
Building Community Networks with ASORCOM (Alternative Solution for Rural Communities): In this video Michael Suantak explains how ASERCOM is building community networks as a connectivity strategy, across rural and remote Myanmar.
The Land of Zero Connect, Digital Empowerment Foundation, India: Zero Connect is a project of Digital Empowerment Foundation’s Wireless for Communities (W4C) project, in partnership with the Internet Society (ISOC), and supported by Agariya Heetrakshak Manch, to bring broadband Internet Connectivity to the far-flung areas of the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, to give a digital voice to the socially and economically marginalised salt farming Agariya Community.
In Conversation with Ananda Gautam from Internet Governance Watch: In this video, Mr. Ananda Gautam from Internet Governance Watch Project talks about the lockdown in Nepal and how it led to a stagnation of learning in schools for six months. He also talks about the work his organisation has done to eradicate this problem.
Village Base Station Project, Philippines: In this video, Ms. Claire Barela talks about how the village Base station Project has connected rural fishing and farming communities in the Philippines to cellular network.
Baran: Residents of Jungle go WIFI: This film talks about how the tribals of Baran district gained access to the internet, and the impact of information and access to technology in this region on the daily lives and livelihoods.
Last Mile Connectivity: The film talks about the advantage of Internet access in a remote village named Nichlagarh. As Internet usage grows in India, the number of communities and citizen journalists using new apps, social media platforms, and websites is growing. ‘Digitally Enabled’ is a five-part video series highlighting the role of the Internet and technology in our daily lives that aims to bridge the knowledge gap between the Policy- Makers and the End-Users. The series is produced by Alumni of U.S. Government-sponsored exchange programs in collaboration with Digital Empowered Foundation and U.S. Mission to India.
Digital Cluster of Barabanki Weavers: DEF in partnership with Ericsson India has initiated a project, in Saidanpur village of Barabanki district in Uttar Pradesh, which primarily involves inclusive and decentralised use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and other digital tools in critical aspects of cluster development, especially improving and scaling up weaving skills, designs, marketing and entrepreneurship, besides creating sustainable livelihood options for the youth in the clusters. The development focus of the model allows us to integrate both the social and economic capital needs of the targeted artisan communities towards inclusive growth.
Chanderi Film: Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) in collaboration with Media Labs Asia has conceptualized the Chanderi Weavers ICT Resource Center (CWICTRC) in order to provide technical education to the textile weavers of Chanderi. It endeavours to provide alternative options of livelihood through ICT based empowerment. This initiative, collectively called ‘Chanderiyaan’ aims at fostering community-based development and empowerment through the Chanderi Integrated ICT for Development Program (CIIDP).
I Love to Study & Play: This video showcases the importance of access to the internet for rural communities and how it impacts children in particular.
Access is my Right: Access is my Right’ is a short film about life in Guna, Madhya Pradesh, one of the most backward districts in India. Many living in this area suffer from non-availability of information and access to any kind of Media. This film is a story about life in these unconnected areas and how it all changes once wireless networks are established.
Wireless for Unconnected: Sittlingi is situated in District Dharmapuri of Tamil Nadu. It covers the population of 12,000 people out of which 96% is tribal. Covid 18 has impacted thousands of livelihoods especially in rural India. Dr. Regi George has started an initiative ‘The Tribal Health’ for the betterment of people living there. However, the global pandemic has affected the Internet connectivity adversely. They then set up a receiver that can provide internet access and connectivity for all.
In Conversation with Erzhigit Imamov from ISOC Kyrgyzstan Chapter: In this video, Erzhigit Imamov, technical engineer of ISOC Kyrgyzstan, talks about the technology used to build community networks in the village of Suusamyr.
In Conversation with Peter Bloom: Since 2009 Peter Bloom has been coordinating Rhizomatica, an organization he started to promote new communication technologies and that helped start the first community-owned and managed cell phone network in the Americas in 2013.
Wejxia Network (Wind’s Net): A Network Connecting Cauca with the World: In this video, Dana Beltrán talks about the initiative that seeks to connect indigenous communities, farmers and former FARC-EP combatants of Caldono and Silvia with the world using the Internet and global communications network as a tool of empowerment.
Ocean in a drop: A film about the entrepreneurs, community leaders, youth and children who are making this happen – India’s own internet avant-garde. Ocean in a Drop is an Australian and Indian co-production, a collaboration between Andrew Garton’s Secession/Films and the New Delhi-based Digital Empowerment Foundation.