The University of Thessaly and Sarantaporo.gr NPO launched a Collaboration for the extending of Sarantaporo.gr Wireless Community Network in Elassona Municipal area, in the framework of the European Research Program named CONFINE (Community Networks Testbed for the Future Internet), funded under FP7, in which Sarantaporo.gr NPO participates as a partner. The project is about leveraging existing wireless community networks in Europe (Greece - AWMN and Sarantaporo.gr, Spain - Guifi.net, Austria - Funkfeuer, Italy - Ninux) to conduct experiments related to developing applications for the service of citizens and by improving the software that supports the operation of these networks.
The wireless community networks involved in the project are interconnected, forming an experimental devices, the so-called testbed, used by researchers to conduct experiments. At the same time, the entire infrastructure provides its services to citizens within an open wireless Community network, providing free access to residents from 14 villages in the area.
In the context of connecting the academic community with the local communities and providing solutions and know-how to them, the President of University of Thessaly Professor Panagiotis Goulas, the Project Coordinator for Thessaly University Dr. Vassilis Vlachos and the Sarantaporo.gr representative Mr. Achilleas Vaitsis held a meeting, in which an important issue was decided. The University of Thessaly would grant the Sarantaporo.gr team access to the internet infrastructure to support its actions, while supporting both the model of collaborative infrastructure development at the local level, which can help to strengthen local society and the economy, as well as a research work to be done using the infrastructure of the wireless community networks and further development.
Up till now, the open wireless internet provision in the villages has been decisive for the locals, due to the lack of alternatives in many of the villages. Through the Community Wireless Network, citizens have now gained access to e-government services, as have physicians who are now able to perform electronic prescriptions in villages using the wireless network infrastructure implemented. The offer and participation of Thessaly University in the development of cooperative economy actions and infrastructure building in the logic of the 'commons' will further enhance the infrastructure and services to the citizen.