We have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Internet Society (ISOC) to further our existing partnership to promote community networks that expand meaningful connectivity, and other areas of joint interest.
ISOC is an A4AI member and shares our vision of an open, globally connected, secure, and trustworthy internet for everyone. Like A4AI, ISOC emphasises the importance of solid research, capacity building, and advocacy to develop the policies needed to reduce the cost to connect and enable everyone, everywhere to access meaningful internet connectivity.
One of the most effective and sustainable solutions both A4AI and ISOC promotes is community networks, which help address connectivity gaps that exist in underserved urban, remote, and rural areas around the world.
This MoU formalizes a longstanding relationship between the two organizations. In the past, we’ve worked together to collaborate on common policy and regulatory objectives across numerous UN and international fora to promote and advocate for the expansion of public access solutions through community networks, and to work on common goals with respect to innovative uses of Universal Service Funds. We are excited to further advance the work we’ve been doing together.
The MoU lays out a few areas of joint interest including:
- Supporting communities and local entrepreneurs to solve their own connectivity challenges through design and deployment of community networks, training and capacity building efforts, and knowledge sharing opportunities for solving policy and regulatory challenges.
- Working through Internet Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups, A4AI National Coalitions, and other communities to mobilize resources and partners in support of the implementation of priority programs and projects.
- Engaging in joint research efforts to support expansion of internet access in underserved regions.
Sonia Jorge, Executive Director of A4AI said:
“It is wonderful to strengthen our partnership with ISOC to coordinate our activities and initiatives to support the expansion of community networks and overall affordable access for women and men alike. Collaboration is at the center of successful policy and implementation, and by joining our efforts we will be able to leverage our networks and better support our partners in their journey to expand affordable and meaningful connectivity across low- and middle-income countries.”
Jane Coffin, Senior Vice President, Internet Growth at the Internet Society said:
“This is a tremendous opportunity to work with A4AI and the Web Foundation to create real change for Internet users and potential users across the world. By combining our efforts, we can promote, create, and grow community networks, increase collaboration between network operators, create change in regulatory and policy environments, and provide opportunities to engage with each other to further common interests.”