Homo Digitalis and Sarantaporo.gr are officially announcing their partnership to promote and defend digital rights, with an emphasis on the right of all citizens to access modern high-speed networking infrastructure and the internet..

Homo Digitalis is the most active non-governmental organization in Greece dedicated to the protection of human rights in the digital age. Sarantaporo.gr, is the most successful Nonprofit Organization that develops broadband networks of public interest, with the most active citizens' network in Greece, the Sarantaporo.gr Wireless Community Network.

According to a recent survey by Hellenic Statistical Authority, only 78.5% of Greeks have access to the internet, which reveals that more than 2.5 million of our citizens remain in digital exclusion. Not all social groups are provided with the same level of service for two main reasons. Either because they live in remote areas with low population density and therefore low investment interest for telecommunications companies, or because, although they reside in cities, they do not have the financial resources to obtain a satisfactory broadband connection, as modern day digitalization now requires.

The Sarantaporo.gr Wireless Community Network is a project that fights against this particular digital exclusion to bridge the digital divide in the mountainous and isolated villages of Elassona Municipality. Actively engaging local inhabitants in the area, Sarantaporo.gr is building a modern wireless telecommunications infrastructure that currently serves 11 villages and about 3,500 residents. This initiative was recently awarded by the European Commission with the first prize at the European Broadband Awards 2019, the leading institution in highlighting and honoring major broadband development initiatives at European level.

The two leading Greek civil society organizations in their field have decided to join forces to propose concrete measures that the State can adopt to support community networks and an institutional and financial level and promote public awareness for community broadband networks in Greece, mainly in remote areas of the country that have no alternative access. This is also the direction suggested by the most recent EU Broadband Special Report.


We are thrilled to share some very good news with all of you. Sarantaporo.gr Community Network has been awarded the first prize at the European Broadband Awards 2019! This is an exciting moment for us, but also, we believe, an exciting moment for CNs around Europe and around the world.

Our proposal received a score of 9,8 out of 10. What made a big difference was our focus in digital literacy and skills building. This is a characteristic of CNs that one does not find in telecom operators. And it makes all the difference, in adding the word "meaningful" to connectivity.

It started with guifi.net being awarded at the first EBA in 2015 as the best innovative model of financing, business and investment. Today Sarantaporo.gr has received the first prize as the best example of demand generation and take-up of connectivity.

European Commission could not have put it more clearly that it is counting on CNs to achieve its connectivity goals. In the words of Franco Accordino, DG Connect Unit Director, at the closing of B-Day:

"We need to build an EU that works for people. The Greek example creates a strong message to support community connectivity in Europe [..] In EU we don't have the "garages", but we have the local communities which can innovate, through connectivity."

We welcome this victory of ours as a victory of our local community, but also as a victory of the Community-Networks-way of connecting people. At the IGF in Berlin it was acknowledged that CNs are indeed an established approach to connectivity when it comes to connecting remote areas or providing affordable, meaningful connectivity for all. We thus believe that this is a time of profound recognition of CNs as important stakeholders in connecting the unconnected across Europe and the world and we should leverage this momentum that is building up.

We hope you will all celebrate this victory with us as a common achievement, which hopefully contributes in bringing at a new level the discussion about the future of CNs in connecting the unconnected.


Sarantaporo.gr Community Network is one of the three finalists at the European Broadband Awards 2019! Acknowledging the significant impact of the wireless community network for the Sarantaporo area residents, the EBA committee invites the Sarantaporo.gr NPO to attend the award ceremony in Brussels on December 2nd, where the winners will be announced.

The European Broadband Awards is an annual competition through which the European Commission recognizes projects of paramount importance for the development of broadband infrastructure in Europe. Through their awards, they highlight the successful implementation of distinctive broadband infrastructures.

At this year's competition, the Sarantaporo.gr NPO participated with the Wireless Community Network Sarantaporo.gr, in the category "Demand generation and take-up of connectivity". On December 3, winners will present their initiative at the B-Day conference: Boosting Connectivity Investments involving European actors related to the future of the Internet in Europe.


From the 24th to the 30th of August Greece had the great honor of hosting the 85th World Congress of Libraries and Information Sciences of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Athens. This year's theme was "Libraries: Dialogue and Change". This annual conference is perhaps the most important global event for libraries across the world. The international meeting took place at the Athens International Conference Center of Athens Megaron with about 3,500 participants from 135 countries.

The participants were not limited to academic discussions but expanded to broader societal concerns such as technology as a means of participation, health and life sciences, artificial intelligence and information and data management, libraries as spaces that inspire dialogue, the audio and visual cultural heritage of local communities. The Sarantaporo.gr NPO also participated in this dialogue invited by the organizers and the Internet Society (ISOC), with whom we have been cooperating for the past two years. We presented the work of the NPO and the wireless community network Sarantaporo.gr that we have been building in the Sarantaporo area, along with the active involvement of the local community and its members. And if some ask the question "what does a community network have to do with libraries?", the answer lies in the common goals pursued.

Kalentzi is a small mountain village of approximately 350 inhabitants, located in the south of Ioannina Prefecture, 30km from the city of Ioannina. Located in the borderline of the Tzoumerka National Park, it is a place of wild natural beauty and authentic Greek countryside. The village belongs to the North Tzoumerka municipality. The main economic activities of the population are farming, animal breeding and partly tourism. Excluding the touristic activities, it is otherwise a village very similar to Sarantaporo.

One year ago, in mid 2017, the Sarantaporo.gr Community Network (CN) team collaborated with P2P Lab of Ioannina to initiate a local CN for the village of Kalentzi. P2P Lab already operates in this area with its Tzoumakers community, a collaborative workshop to fabricate farming machinery, under their EU funded "Phygital" project. In this context a member of P2P Lab and a municipal councilor of the North Tzoumerka municipality visited Sarantaporo in July 2017 to participate in a two-day workshop on Community Wireless Networks. The ground was set and all that was missing was the seed funding which would support the project. This came a few months later, in early 2018, from FundAction via the Rethink grant.

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