At a critical society juncture, when digital technologies play a central role in the daily lives of citizens, those digitally isolated are given the opportunity to access the internet by small telecommunications providers and community networks (CN). These organizations help and assist in the enhancement of digital literacy and empowerment of citizens.
However, some regulations in the new EU telecommunications code can pose significant obstacles to the sustainability of community networks. So, instead of seeing these networks expand, which is extremely important nowadays, there is a danger of witnessing a shrinkage and eventually the CN disappearing.
Global organizations such as the Internet Society (ISOC) and European research programs such as NGI (Next Generation Internet) have recognized the importance and value of community networks and are constantly striving to support them through various specialized financial support programs. These, however, are not enough. At the same time, specific policies and regulations at the institutional level should be designed and implemented.
On Monday, July 9th 2018 at 18:30 - 21:00 at Impact Hub, Karaiskaki 28, 105 54, Athens, following the planned two-day visit to the wireless community network Sarantaporo.gr, a public event is organized by the netCommons project, funded by the European program Horizon2020. It brings international experts and local stakeholders to the same table to build a better understanding of the critical role and needs of small internet providers and community networks and explore how the new EU telecommunications code may affect them, as well as what preventive measures can be taken today.
The public will have the opportunity to become aware of the community networks models and the global movement of support, as well as the current legal and regulatory framework in Greece as an EU member affecting them. The event will take the form of short presentations by selected guests, both domestic and international.
An open discussion will follow to explore how community networks such as Sarantaporo.gr can be supported and replicated in other areas.
Impact Hub, Karaiskaki 28, 105 54, Athens
Monday, 9 July 2018, 18:30-21:00
The event begins at 6:30 pm at the Impact Hub Athens Central Hall. The roundtable and the discussion that follows will take place from 19:00 to 21:00. Mr. Panagiotis Antoniadis (NetHood Zurich) coordinates the discussion.
19:00-19:10 Welcome and introduction to the netCommons project
- Iordanis Koutsopoulos, Athens University of Economics and Business
- Renato Lo Cigno, University of Trento
19:10-19:30 The Community Networks worldwide
- George Klissiaris & Vassilis Chryssos, co-founders of Sarantaporo.gr NPO
- Ramon Roca, co-founder of Guifi.net
19:30-19:50 International organizations and partners
- Jane Coffin, Director of Development Strategy, Internet Society (ISOC)
- Steve Song, Village Telco
19:50-20:00 Policy and regulations at EU level
- Félix Tréguer, CNRS, Paris
- Maria Michalis, University of Westminster, London
20:00-20:30 The regulatory framework and public policy in Greece
- Vassiliki Gogou, Office of the President, EETT (The Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission)
- Constantinos Hampides, Chief Digital Officer, Municipality of Athens
- Representative of the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information (under confirmation)
20:30-21:00 Discussion of proposed actions for the sustainability of Community networks in Greece
- Open discussion of potential policy and legislative actions, support structures and organizational frameworks that can contribute to the sustainability of Community networks in Greece in view of the new EU telecommunications code.
- Open letter to policy makers from Community networks
- Event on the new telecommunications code in the European Parliament
- Workshop by netCommons in the EU Parliament
- ISOC Report on Community Networks
- Article about the Sarantaporo.gr Community Wireless Network