Re: [gaia] RG Last Call: draft-irtf-gaia-alternative-network-deployments-02

Jane Coffin <> Sun, 13 December 2015 16:59 UTC

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From: Jane Coffin <>
To: Henning Schulzrinne <>
Thread-Topic: [gaia] RG Last Call: draft-irtf-gaia-alternative-network-deployments-02
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Cc: gaia <>, Arjuna Sathiaseelan <>, Mat Ford <>
Subject: Re: [gaia] RG Last Call: draft-irtf-gaia-alternative-network-deployments-02
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Hi Henning -

Exactly and thank you.

We have separated out:
Community:  Building it and sustaining it – the village elders/other leaders who we provide information to and work with in partnership
Engineering: Site spec/configuration, gear and how to move it (Mahabir Pun carried some of it mountains – truly and link to him<> is here for others as well as the great team at DEF<> (Osama/Ritu…) and WforC<>.
Business Plan:  Tied to the above and we need to link to the great sites you mention below (Mike Jensen, David Johnson, Roger and team are really kicking this are some here in the US trying to link libraries like Don Means as anchor institutions
Training:  We train trainers and the key thing may be how to sustain this (we are looking into online training as well where useful).

Thank you for the great links as I am simply trying to encapsulate, create forward looking docs for our teams that have not worked with communities on this (but have on IXPs+).

Separately if anyone has great community strategies they are willing to share – please email me here:
We do not want to recreate the wheel or miss something obvious.


From: Henning Schulzrinne <<>>
Date: Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 11:15 AM
To: janecoffin <<>>
Cc: Arjuna Sathiaseelan <<>>, Mat Ford <<>>, gaia <<>>
Subject: Re: [gaia] RG Last Call: draft-irtf-gaia-alternative-network-deployments-02

There is plenty of (US-centric) information on this general topic:

links to a few, such as


(Indeed, has been tilling that field for a while.)

There's also the FCC Rural Broadband Experiment

There are many different management options, depending on who operates, finances and builds what. This can range all the way from a truly government-owned network to semi-governmental bodies (separate entity; something like the Port Authority in NJ/NY for other infrastructure), cooperatives (such as the rural electric cooperatives in the US that have participated in the FCC effort above), to not-for-profits (NGOs) to regulated private telecommunication carriers or entities that aren't. In some cases, these entities build, operate and finance the network, in others they contract building or operation to third parties. In some cases, they operate only the layer-0 through layer-2, in others they offer consumer services. In some cases, they serve mainly anchor institutions, in others consumers. Etc.

Thus, this is not a binary proposition, although the term "community network" is often used to encompass a subset of these models.

I would separate out the building, operations and financing, and maybe governance.


On Sun, Dec 13, 2015 at 11:04 AM, Jane Coffin <<>> wrote:
Food for thought.

In some countries community networks survive better under regulatory parameters when they are called community networks.
If you start to parse the name too much, some companies and regulators may decide that the entity falls under a certain regulatory umbrella.
Some companies might see the newly named entity as a threat and ask the regulator to regulate them out of existence.
Some regulators might not want to take the time (and I say this with all do respect) to manage it all.
I would say that given the recent SDG discussions that some very good regulators and ministries and/or ministries of economy might want to focus on the positive aspect of providing solutions in rural areas/remote/underserved areas and might make exceptions and even help make it happen.  The simple fact that allowing competitive and innovative companies into some markets (and the economic impact of doing so) has not made it onto the top of the in-box means you have to make it very easy to do what you want to do (translation – make sure this is a win for the local municipal or village  entities so that they can argue your case).

It follows that a key part of the  “environmental assessment” isn’t just the engineering and/or the “who is in the market”, but the
“temperature” of government/reg/policy environment and what past experience has been for some smaller entities trying to provide innovative solutions.  Usually the latter entities needed some umbrella of protection.

It would be really great to ask others what best practices they have seen as we are trying to scale our Wireless for Communities programme outside of APAC and would really love to have more data.


From: gaia <<>> on behalf of Arjuna Sathiaseelan <<>>
Date: Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 7:45 AM
To: Mat Ford <<>>
Cc: gaia <<>>
Subject: Re: [gaia] RG Last Call: draft-irtf-gaia-alternative-network-deployments-02

Thanks Mat.

I have been recently discussing with Roger from Guifi about whether community networks should be termed as Alternative Networks or should it be called Complimentary Networks considering that community networks could end up sharing infrastructure with network operators who could see this as a great opportunity to access the last mile without a CAPEX.

So is Alternative Networks the right terminology or should we have Complimentary Networks?


On 1 December 2015 at 16:28, Mat Ford <<>> wrote:

I think it’s time we tried to conclude our work on draft-irtf-gaia-alternative-network-deployments. Jose detailed the changes in the most recent update when he announced the update to the list, so I won’t repeat those here. I have not seen any further discussion.

If you have any concerns or further comments regarding the content of this document, please raise them on this mailing list by Tuesday December 15th. I hope to initiate IRSG review of the document immediately thereafter.

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