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Friday, November 13 • 14:00 - 15:30
WS 223 Community Networks: a Revolutionary Paradigm

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This session will analyse the challenges and opportunities that community networks present regarding Internet access, social organisation and non-discriminatory internetworking. Panellists and audience will engage into a participatory debate focusing on:

1. Opportunities
Community networks rely on the use peer-to-peer technology and independent infrastructure operating autonomously from pre-existing infrastructure that may be centralised and under the control of commercial providers and governments. Such decentralised networks have the potential to provide Internet access to remote areas; to foster new forms of social structures; to offer a safe-haven for activists; to keep communication channels open at times of crisis; and to offer low-income communities the ability of building high-volume and low cost internet connectivity. 

2. Challenges
The removal of central hubs controlling the infrastructure of communication eliminates the possibility for authorities to rely on private actors (large online operators, ISPs) to monitor and police online communications. Mesh networks foster user anonymity making it increasingly difficult to attack or track individual infringers, thus, becoming attractive for illegal activities. 

3. Solutions
This workshop will aim at identifying best practices for community network management and distilling core policy elements aimed at fostering the development of community networks. This roundtable will also act as a bird of a feather meeting for all stakeholders interested in further analysing the benefits of community networks.

Friday November 13, 2015 14:00 - 15:30
Workshop Room 8

Attendees (44)