Affordable telecommunications A new digital economy is calling

Main Article Content

Marta Poblet

Keywords

affordable, telecommunications, digital economy

Abstract

 


The unparalleled success of mobile technologies, the emergence of new modes of software and hardware production, and the free circulation of shared knowledge in the Web 2.0 have enabled a new generation of bottom-up, community-based, cost-effective telecommunications initiatives and projects. While these endeavours find their roots in previous hobbyists’ movements (i.e. amateur radio, software hackers, do-it-yourself communities) today's’ initiatives are able to connect, co-produce and share knowledge with world-wide communities, engaging new participants both at the local and the global level.


This article reviews recent developments that aim to provide free or low-cost access to telecommunication services in different areas. From Do-It-Yourself (DIY) satellites to mesh networks, these projects tap into the wisdom and resources of communities to offer non-commercial alternatives to present telecommunications services. The technology, organisational, and regulatory challenges they also face cannot be underestimated either. However, in their struggle to find and consolidate new markets, affordable telecommunications reveal that a new digital economy based on co-production could be under way.


 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 200 | PDF Downloads 19

References

Abdelaal, A., Ali, H. 2009. Analyzing community contributions to the development of community wireless networks. 17th European Conference on Information Systems. [Internet]. Accessed 29 September 2013. Available from: http://www.ecis2009.it/papers/ecis2009-0709.pdf
Abdelaal, A., Ali, H. 2012. Human Capital in the Domain of Community Wireless Networks. 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. [Internet]. Accessed 29 September 2013. Available from: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6149228
Abdelaal, A., Ali, H., Khazanchi, D. 2009. The Role of Social Capital in the Creation of Community Wireless Networks,” the 42nd Hawai’i International Conference on Systems Sciences, Waikoloa, HI U.S.A, January 5 – 8: 1-10.
ACMA. 2013. Compliance Program 2012-2013. [Internet]. Accessed 10 October 2013. Available from: http://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Suppliers/Supplier-resources/Priority-compliance-areas/priority-compliance-areas-compliance-program-2012-and-2013
Albert, S. 2013. The Case of Chapleau Network: Why Community Wireless Networks Fail?. In A. Abdelaal (ed.) Social and Economic Effects of Community Wireless Networks and Infrastructures. IGI Global. September 26, 2013: 178-196. http://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-2997-4
AMSAT-UK. 2013a. ‘Australia’s own BLUEsat ready for launch’. [Internet]. Accessed 20 September 2013. Available from: http://amsat-uk.org/2013/09/13/australias-bluesat-ready-for-launch/
AMSAT-UK. 2013b. ‘STRaND-1 Smartphone CubeSat’. [Internet]. Accessed 20 September 2013. Available from: http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/strand-1/
Anderson, C. 2012. Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. New York: Crown Publishing Group.
Antunes, S. 2012. DIY Satellite Platforms. Sebastopol (CA): O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Back, A. 2012a. The Low Cost GSM Network is Here. DesignSpark [Internet]. Accessed 29 September 2013. Available from: http://www.designspark.com/blog/the-low-cost-gsm-network-is-here
Back, A. 2012b. Building a GSM network with open source. The Open H [Internet]. Accessed 29 September 2013. Available from: http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Building-a-GSM-network-with-open-source-1476745.html
Banzi, M. 2012. ‘How Arduino is open-sourcing imagination’. TEDGlobal June 2012, [Internet]. Accessed 24 September 2013. Available from: http://www.ted.com/talks/massimo_banzi_how_arduino_is_open_sourcing_imagination.html
Beagleboard. 2013. Beaglebone. [Internet]. Accessed 24 September 2013. Available from: http://beagleboard.org/Products/BeagleBone/
Benkler, Y. 2006. The wealth of networks: how social production transforms markets and freedom. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Braem et al. 2013. Braem, B., Blondia, C., Bonicioli, J., Papathanasiou, S., Neumann, A.,Vilata i Balaguer, I., Barz, C., Rogge, H., Escrich, P., Baig Viñas, R., Tatum, B., Matson, M., Navarro, L., Freitag, F., Kaplan, A.L. 2013. A Case for Research with and on Community NetworksEditorial Note submitted to Computer Communication Review. [Internet]. Accessed 24 September 2013. Available from: http://www.sigcomm.org/sites/default/files/ccr/papers/2013/July/2500098-2500108.pdf
Camponovo, G., Picco-Schwendener, A., Cantoni, L. 2013. Motivations and Barriers of Participation in Community Wireless Networks: The Case of Fon. In A. Abdelaal (ed.) Social and Economic Effects of Community Wireless Networks and Infrastructures. IGI Global. September 26, 2013: 112-135. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-2997-4
Dulik, T., Bliznak, M., Jasek, R. 2013. Best Practices in Designing Low-Cost Community Wireless Networks. In A. Abdelaal (ed.) Social and Economic Effects of Community Wireless Networks and Infrastructures. IGI Global. September 26, 2013: 215-236. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-2997-4
EC. 2013. Commission adopts regulatory proposals for a Connected Continent. EU Press Releases Database. [Internet]. Accessed 24 September 2013. Available from: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-779_en.htm
Goodin, D. 2012. At Defcon, hackers get their own private cell network: Ninja Tel. Ars Technica [Internet], http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/07/ninja-tel-hacker-phone-network/
GSMA. 2012. ‘Mobile and Women: An impact pathway exploring the role of mobile technology in women’s empowerment’. [Internet]. Accessed 16 September 2013. Available from: https://mobiledevelopmentintelligence.com/impact_pathways/women-and-mobile#
Guifi.net. 2012. Commons for Open Free & Neutral Network (OFNN). [Internet]. Accessed 28 September 2013. Available from: http://guifi.net/en/CommonsXOLN
Guifi.net. 2013. Operational nodes. [Internet]. Accessed 28 September 2013. Available from: http://guifi.net/en/guifi_zones
Gurstein, M. 2012. Towards a conceptual framework for a community informatics. 2012. In A. H. Clement, M. Gurstein, G. Longford, M. Moll, L. R. Shade (eds.) Connecting Canadians: Investigations in Community Informatics. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press: 35-60.
Hertz, G. 2011. Arduino Microcontrollers and the Queen's Hamlet: Utilitarian and Hedonized DIY Practices in Contemporary Electronic Culture (ACADIA 2011)
IEEE. 2012. IEEE 802.22 Working Group on Wireless Regional Area Networks . [Internet]. Accessed 29 September 2013. Available from: http://www.ieee802.org/22/
ITU. 2013. The World in 2013: ICT Facts and Figures. [Internet]. Accessed 29 September 2013. Available from: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/facts/ICTFactsFigures2013.pdf
Khan, A. M., Buyuksahin, U. C., Freitag, F. 2013. Towards Incentive-Based Resource Assignment and Regulation in Clouds for Community Networks. In J. Altmann, K. Vanmechelen, and O.F. Rana (eds.): GECON 2013, LNCS 8193:197–211.
Klosowski, T. 2013. ‘How to Pick the Right Electronics Board for Your DIY Project’. Lifehacker. [Internet]. Accessed 24 September 2013. Available from: http://lifehacker.com/how-to-pick-the-right-electronics-board-for-your-diy-pr-742869540
Leonard 2013. How to Choose the Right Platform: Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black. Make. [Internet]. Accessed 24 September 2013. Available from: http://makezine.com/magazine/how-to-choose-the-right-platform-raspberry-pi-or-beaglebone-black/
Maines, R. 2009. Hedonizing technologies: paths to pleasure in hobbies and leisure. John Hopkins University.
Murphey, S. 2012. ‘How to build your own personal satellite”. DIY Space Exploration [Internet]. Accessed 20 September 2013. Available from: http://www.diyspaceexploration.com/how-to-build-your-own-personal-satellite/
Neuman, A., Navarro, L., Baig, R., Escrich, P. 2013. ‘Receiver-driven routing for community mesh networks’. HotMesh 2013 Workshop at the IEEE WoWMoM Conference (Madrid/Spain). [Internet]. Accessed 26 September 2013. Available from: http://bmx6.net/news/11
OpenBTS. 2013. ‘What is OpenBTS?’ [Internet]. Accessed 30 September 2013. Available from: http://openbts.org/
Osmocom. 2013. ‘Welcome to Osmocom OpenBSC’. [Internet]. Accessed 30 September 2013. Available from:http://openbsc.osmocom.org/trac/
Pietrosemoli, E. Freitag, F., Navarro, L., Zennaro, M., Baig, R., Astudillo Segura, A.F. 2013. ‘Clommunity: A Cloud Solution for Community Networks’. [Internet]. Accessed 30 September 2013. Available from: http://2013.wirelesssummit.org/content/agenda
Polak, P. 2010. ‘The Death of Appropriate Technology I: If you can’t sell it don’t do it.’ [Internet]. Accessed 17 September 2013. Available from: http://www.paulpolak.com/the-death-of-appropriate-technology-2/
Powell, A. 2012. Democratizing production through open source knowledge: from open software to open hardware. Media, Culture, and Society, 34 (6): 691-708. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0163443712449497
Rhizomatica. 2013. ‘Community base station’. [Internet]. Accessed 17 September 2013. Available from: http://rhizomatica.org/projects/community-basestation/
Roanhouse, P. 2012. ‘Proof of Concept shows how to make your own GSM phone network using $35 Raspberry Pi’. Plan8 Media, http://www.plan8.tv/201212221050/proof-of-concept-shows-how-to-make-your-own-gsm-phone-network-using-35-raspberry-pi/
Roca, R. 2010. ‘Entrevista amb Ramon Roca’. Guifimedia. [Internet]. Accessed 28 September 2013. Available from: http://blip.tv/guifimedia/entrevista-a-ramon-roca-a-quatre-paraules-3105842
Ruiz, V. 2013. ‘Forgotten by telecoms, Mexico town runs cell service’. Phys.org [Internet]. Accessed 25 September 2013. Available from: http://phys.org/news/2013-08-forgotten-telecoms-mexico-town-cell.html
Sandvig, C. 2012. What are Community Networks an Example of? A Response. In: A. H. Clement, M. Gurstein, G. Longford, M. Moll, L. R. Shade (eds.) Connecting Canadians: Investigations in Community Informatics. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press: 133-141.
Schumacher, F. 1973. Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered. NY: Harper and Row.
Shaffer, G. 2013. Lessons Learned from Grassroots Wireless Networks in Europe. In A. Abdelaal (ed.) Social and Economic Effects of Community Wireless Networks and Infrastructures. IGI Global. September 26, 2013: 236-254. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-2997-4
Serval Project. 2013. What is the Serval Project? [Internet]. Accessed 14 October 2013. Available from: http://www.servalproject.org/
Simonite, T. 2013. Build Your Own Internet with Mobile Mesh Networking. MIT Technology Review. [Internet]. Accessed 14 October 2013. Available from: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/516571/build-your-own-internet-with-mobile-mesh-networking/
The Economist. 2012. ‘Personal Space’. [Internet]. Accessed 20 September 2013. Available from: http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/09/picosatellites
Thomas, D. 2013. EU regulators adopt measures to reform telecoms market. Financial Times, September 11, 2013. [Internet]. Accessed 11 October 2013. Available from: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/41958a7e-1aee-11e3-a605-00144feab7de.html#axzz2i75Qcfrd
Ungerleider, N. 2012. NanoRacks is the UPS of Outer Space Shipping. Fast Company [Internet]. Accessed 20 September 2013. Available from: http://www.fastcompany.com/3000152/nanoracks-ups-outer-space-shipping

Most read articles by the same author(s)