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Internet Society, DEF highlight on community networks in rural India

IANS  |  New Delhi 

With a view to explore synergies between community radios and community networks, Society (ISOC), and (DEF), a non-profit organisation have emphasised the importance of in the growth and development of connectivity in India, especially in rural areas.

is the use of networking technologies by, and for, local communities providing a to address the connectivity gaps that exist in underserved urban, remote, and rural areas around the world.

Virginia-headquartered ISOC is a global non-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the and DEF aims to eradicate information poverty through access to

Information poverty is a situation where individuals and communities do not have the requisite skills, abilities or material means to obtain efficient access to information, interpret it and apply it appropriately.

"The is estimated to grow to $124 billion market by 2022, and it is imperative for policy makers and regulators in to realise that supportive government policies and better infrastructure are key for the growth of the sector," said Rajnesh Singh, Director-Asia Pacific, ISOC.

"Policymakers and regulators can play a key role in ensuring innovative approaches to making spectrum available. By supporting initiatives like Community Networks, the government and the nation will be able to fulfill the vision of Digital and help millions get online," added Singh.

In India, where connectivity gaps are more prevalent, DEF started pilot programmes this year called 'Internet in a Box', which were deployed in Tain village of and Asoor village of

So far, DEF has established at more than 140 locations across 15 regions, including Baran in Rajasthan, Guna in Madhya Pradesh, Nuh in Haryana, Asoor in Tamil Nadu, Barabanki in and Nagaon in

Further, DEF and ISOC jointly announced the launch of the Community Network Champions (CNC) which is a certificate programme for community network providers across the globe to gain hands-on experience in the operation and management of community networks.

During CN Champion programme, intensive training on and its operations and management will be provided to seven community networks -- from Haiti, Bahrain, Nigeria, Krygystan, Phillipines, and

"As the world embraces greater access to information and services online, the excluded individuals are being further excluded -- almost to the level of being disenfranchised. Therefore, we cannot solely depend on telcos or their to connect the 70 per cent of the population that is yet to access the Internet," said Osama Manzar, Founder-Director, DEF.

Importantly, the entire process needs supportive policy framework such as availability of TV White Space and Liberalisation of at level, which will help in providing to rural masses.--IANS


(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, October 31 2018. 22:10 IST