INVITATION TO AN EVENT Saturday 10 December 2022, Tavern "The Throne", Pythio, Elassona, Greece at 20:30
The Sarantaporo.gr Non Profit Organization invites Sarantaporo,gr Wireless Community Network members, friends and everyone interested to participate in our network in a social event of reunification of our community, leaving behind the difficult period of the Covid-19 pandemic, which kept us at a distance for almost 3 years.
At our event, as in the previous ones, we will have the chance to discuss with each other, share the news of our community, celebrate our recent award by the global organization IEEE, inform the community about the plans to upgrade our network in the coming period and of course we will all have fun together.
Sarantaporo.gr Non Profit Organization won the second place in the international competition of the IEEE organization on the subject: Connecting The Unconnected Challenge, in the category "Business Models Proof of Concept"! 226 contestants from 43 countries took part in the competition. Sarantaporo.gr Non Profit Organization was among the 27 who qualified for the final phase of the competition and who were finally awarded.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically brought to the fore the need for internet access, for all the residents of our villages, professionals and students alike. In the Sarantaporo.gr Community Network community we consider internet access a human right and we strive daily to maintain and improve our infrastructure, which provides all residents of 11 Elassona Municipality villages with open Internet access.
Letters such as those sent to us today by these students make us proud of our work and motivate us to continue struggling for equal access to communication, knowledge and digital citizenship.
Two students from the village of Karya, Elassona, have moved to Flampouro village so that they can use the Sarantaporo.gr Wireless Community Network for their distance learning in the midst of the corona virus pandemic. They have sent us a letter, where they recount their experience.
A parent from the village of Pythio Elassona, also sends us his appreciation for the operation of the Sarantaporo.gr Wireless Community Network in his village and a photo of his son, while attending classes connected to our wireless community network.
Sarantaporo.gr and Homo Digitalis contributed their comments in the online consultation, which expired on July 17, 2020, on the draft law on the new Electronic Communications Code. The amendments proposed by the two organizations are aimed at creating a favorable regulatory framework for the development and operation of community broadband networks by citizens in Greece. Following their participation in the consultation, the two organizations jointly sent an open letter to the Minister of Digital Government Mr. Kyriakos Pierrakakis and the Secretary General of Telecommunications and Post Mr. Antonios Tzortzakakis, bringing these proposals to their attention.
Community broadband networks created by citizens to provide internet connectivity are recognized by the European Commission, the Internet Society (ISOC), the UN and other international organizations as an approach that can make a significant contribution to bridging the digital divide and to empower digital citizenship. The importance of these networks has become particularly apparent in recent years due to the fact that, even today, half the world's population remains unconnected. At the same time, the voices and decisions of international organizations that characterize Internet access and communication as a basic human right are increasing.
The village of Sykea in the Municipality of Elassona is another case of settlement, as is the settlement of Akri village, which which lacks access to modern telecommunications infrastructure and the internet, even though it is located just 15 km from the city of Elassona.
The initiative and the kickoff meeting
At the initiative of the Mayor of Elassona, Mr. Gatsas Nikos, Sarantaporo.gr Non-Profit Organization made contact by teleconference on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, with a delegation of residents of Sykea village at Elassona town hall. During the meeting Sarantaporo.gr NPO presented its work so far and the impact it has on the local community and planned the first steps of integrating the local community of Sykeon into the wireless community network of Sarantaporo.gr. In cooperation with the residents of the village we plan to implement the expansion of the Community network as a common good. This network expansion will help to bridge the digital divide and will provide an exit path for the village from digital isolation.
Internet access is a human right
We strongly believe that internet access is a human right, which must be guaranteed by using existing public infrastructure and resources in order to offer citizens equal access to the digital era. In the midst of the on-going corona-virus health crisis, digital isolation is becoming even more difficult due to the increased needs for remote education, teleworking and access to information and public online services.
Therefore, in cooperation with the University of Thessaly, the residents of the villages and local stakeholders, we fight to ensure basic internet access for all residents of isolated villages in which there is no alternative internet access from a commercial provider.
In collaboration with the Municipality of Elassona
Citizens' Community Networks bridge the digital divide
During this period of home restricted quarantine that we are experiencing in the midst of the pandemic, no citizen is allowed to remain excluded in the shadow of digital isolation. Community networks around the world, such as the Sarantaporo.gr wireless community network, offer citizens the opportunity to bridge the digital divide by building their own telecommunications infrastructure as a common good.