netCommons at UNESCO

The netCommons project, together with members of its advisory board visited on January 30, 2018, the offices of UNESCO in Paris for a discussion on the potential impact of Community Networks for several Internet Universality Indicators.

Leonardo Maccari, Maria Michalis and Melanie Dulong de Rosnay did three presentations to the UNESCO staff with focus on the technical feasibility and social impact of CNs, the perception of CNs from interested people and the impact of the legal system on CN respectively. All three themes produced an informed discussion with the UNESCO working group on the Internet Universality Indicators which was extremely fruitful to enlarge the interest on CNs to a wider community, and to improve the indicators. The netCommons project was asked to participate at the consultation on the indicators, and to produce a formal feedback.

This was a superb achievement, since the Indicators will be used by UNESCO and other international bodies as the base criteria to evalaute national policies regarding Internet connectivity, and, most of all, their impact on human rights. CNs should have a say on this, as they represent the forefront of a movement of re-appropriation of communication means, with a strongly ethical component, and netCommons tries to make sure that their importance is reflected in the Indicators.

We worked on targeted suggestions, modifications and additions to the Indicators and our proposal is now submitted, and will be presented in more detail in a dedicated post.