The Internet Society and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together on designing and deploying community networks, ensuring local connectivity initiatives achieve long-term sustainability, and other areas of joint interest.
APC is an international network of civil society organizations founded in 1990 dedicated to empowering and supporting people working for peace, human rights, development, and protection of the environment, through the strategic use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Both organizations have vast experience in growing the Internet through capacity building, advocating for ICT and infrastructure policies, and engaging local communities. This MoU updates and replaces a previous version. We are excited to further advance the work we’ve been doing together for nearly ten years.
The MoU lays out two key areas of joint interest:
- Developing an enabling environment for communities and local entrepreneurs to solve their own connectivity challenges through design and deployment of community networks, training and capacity building efforts, and highlighting the benefits of connecting the unconnected.
- Ensuring that local connectivity initiatives are able to reach long-term sustainability, support development opportunities, and contribute to meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in relation to connectivity.
“There remains a profound connectivity gap in many parts of the world. Better connectivity and information exchange strengthens democratic processes, spurs economic growth, and enables sharing of culture and ideas. We’re thrilled to work with APC to help increase connectivity via community networks — networks developed by local communities, with local communities, for local communities,” said Jane Coffin, Senior Vice President, Internet Grow at the Internet Society.
“APC finds the relationship with the Internet Society to be very positive and collaborative on various aspects, and complementary in nature, having contributed critically to the advancement of the community network movement in recent years,” said a representative from APC.
Image from the Digital Empowerment Foundation’s Wireless Training Centre in Guna, India ©Atul Loke