Community Networks Malcom Matson

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Smart Cities & the Future Internet organised by Fireball, Eurocities and ENoLL on January 25th, 2012.

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Community Networks Malcom Matson

  1. 1. Community Networks … neutrality or hostage? Malcolm Matson email: malcolm.matson@oplan.org www.oplan.org http://confine‐project.eu
  2. 2. FACTIn the coming decades, the innately scarce capacity of the1,500,000,000 copper telephone wires in the world whichconnect our phones and computers to the local telephoneexchange and via that, to the ‘public internet’, will be replacedby optical fibre with its innately abundant capacity.QUESTIONWho should reap the primary value and benefit from this investment in a major technology upgrade?OUR CITIES & CITIZENS? ABSENT OWNERS? • YOU? • PHONE COMPANIES? • ME? • PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS? • OUR CHILDREN? • BANKS? • OUR GRANDCHILDREN? • INVESTMENT FUNDS? • LOCAL BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATIONS? • GOVERNMENTS – LOCAL AND NATIONAL
  3. 3. FACT Sascha Meinrath “When Malcolm Matson asks the question,  Director, Open Technology InitiativeIn the coming decades, the innately scarce capacity of the ‘Who will control 1,500,000,000America Foundation istelephone wires local connectivity?’   The New copper a non-profit, non- in the world whichconnect our public new ideas toand computers he exposes the fundamental question  partisan phones that invests in next thinkers and policy institute address the new to the local telephoneexchange generation of challenges facing toUnited States and via that, the the ‘public internet’, will be replaced facing civil society at the dawn by optical fibre with its innately abundant capacity. st century”of the 21QUESTIONWho should reap the primary value and benefit from this investment in a major technology upgrade?OUR CITIES & CITIZENS? ABSENT OWNERS? • YOU? • PHONE COMPANIES? • ME? • PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS? • OUR CHILDREN? • BANKS? • OUR GRANDCHILDREN? • INVESTMENT FUNDS? • LOCAL BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATIONS? • GOVERNMENTS – LOCAL AND NATIONAL
  4. 4. CONCLUSIONPublic policy in almost every country in the world andcertainly in the European Union, and every ‘next generationbroadband’ initiative we are aware of, (past, present andfuture) is guaranteed to deliver the very opposite.OUR CITIES & CITIZENS? ABSENT OWNERS? • YOU? • PHONE COMPANIES? • ME? • PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS? • OUR CHILDREN? • BANKS? • OUR GRANDCHILDREN? • INVESTMENT FUNDS? • LOCAL BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATIONS? • GOVERNMENTS – LOCAL AND NATIONAL
  5. 5. Open Public Local Access Network ‐ OPLAN capacity is dictated by the technology deployed – not by ‘artificial scarcity’ tariffing mechanisms restricted to serving a local geographic community – usually defined by administrative boundaries provides abundant low cost local ‘point‐to‐point’, symmetrical connectivity a 4th Utility© ‐ available for access by any party (no artificial ‘retail / wholesale’ differentiation) no differentiation between ‘content creators’ and ‘content consumers’  infrastructure is owned and controlled independent of traffic/service/content using it is structured, financially and legally with governance measures that:  protects the local ’common public good’  ensures the long term ‘value and benefit’ rests with users of the network (not absent owners) ‘access’ charges are based on servicing capital, and recovering maintenance and upgrade costs to preserve global competitiveness, ‘rent seeking’, even for local public benefit, should be avoided financed by the private sector and market driven – not government funded/owned/controlled subsumes the incumbent telco’s existing local copper PSTN network
  6. 6.  EUs Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7)  ICT‐2011 Future Internet Research & Experimentation (FIRE)  Large Scale Integrating Project construction and operation of a new “experimental testbed” for research in  community networking ‘mesh networking’ based on distributed, open source controlGOALS  experimentally, rather than theoretically driven research into community networking  evaluation of the community network model for the ‘future internet’  free and open dissemination  socio/technical/economic/legal evaluation of the testbed outputs and model  sustainability (technical and financial)  
  7. 7. Community Networks Testbed for the Future Internethttp://confine-project.eu/ Universitat Politècnia de Catalunya (co‐ordinator) ‐ Spain Fundació Privada per a la Xarxa Oberta, Lliure I Neutral guifi.net ‐ Spain FunkFeuer ‐ Austria Athens Wireless Network ‐ Greece The OPLAN Foundation – United Kingdom Comunicació per a la Cooperació – Pangea ‐ Spain Fraunhofer‐Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.v. ‐ Germany Interdisciplinary Institute  for Broadband Technology ‐ Belgium
  8. 8.  ‘real‐world’ rather than laboratory conditions  (based on existing community networks) serious academic and scientific involvement  a test‐bed at both the physical and application levels the under‐pinning driver is ‘openness’   open source hardware/software  test‐bed network and the CONFINE project is ‘open’ for others to become involved and collaborate  ‘opening minds to open networks’ FOUR YEAR PROJECT ● Year 1: Initial set-up ● Year 2: open call round 1 ● Year 3: open call round 2 ● Year 4: refinements, stabilization of operation and dissemination
  9. 9. Community Networks … neutrality or hostage? Malcolm Matson email: malcolm.matson@oplan.org www.oplan.org http://confine‐project.eu

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