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City Profiles

Community wireless networks are making strides in DR Congo, Cameroon, and South Sudan

October 5, 2013  »  BroadbandNo Comment

Community wireless networks (also known as wireless community networks) provide a smaller-scale alternative to municipal wireless networks. CWNs have the ultimate goal of making internet access a universal service.

Held from 2-4 October 2013 in Berlin, the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks featured a handful of panels that discussed African projects. In the spotlight were wireless initiatives in DR Congo, Cameroon, and South Sudan.

Below, we’ve listed panels that touched on efforts to improve internet access in African towns, along with a brief summary synopsis from the official agenda. Tweets from attendees highlight the challenges faced by those who bring comparatively affordable wireless technology to developing nations.

Low Cost Wireless Technology for Less-Developed Countries, Congo DRC

  • How wireless (Wifi and WiMax), satellite services, and low-cost wireless technology were used for electoral data transmission during elections in 2011
  • Experiences in deploying a WiMax network in the city of Kinshasa for the transmission of related civil status data

How Developing Countries Fight for Internet Access and How CWNs Can Help

  • Experiences in advocating for better internet and other communications services in Latin America and Africa

Is This the Last Decade For Community Wireless?: Community Wireless in the Age of Ubiquitous Wifi

  • What makes community networks unique?
  • Can independent community networks co-exist (if not compete) with commercial Wi-Fi?

LANd of Red Clay: Community Wireless Networks in Cameroon

  • Community wireless networks as access points to local content for Cameroonians, who currently face poor quality for expensive Internet access
  • How activists cut access prices by about 90% for their target markets in Cameroon, despite enduring problems like poor competition and political corruption

#OSJUBA Wireless, South Sudan

  • The #OSJUBA – Open Sourcing South Sudan Initiative – proposes to help create a vision for the new state

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