Creating Policy for Community Networks

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Doug Schuler, Richard Civille,
Paul Baker, George Baldwin

Paul Baker
Helpful to consider context when making policy--there are many variations of CNs.

Types of policy:

Focus groups (citizens and govt. groups) are helpful for generating ideas.

George Baldwin

  • Monterey has a large, highly wired campus with small number of students.
  • The school had no policy (don't ask, don't tell, do whatever), which led to having 7 different servers, some run by students from their dorm rooms--anarchy!
  • Campus policy supports civic networking, but no support model has been developed.
  • Currently, the Monterey civic network is run entirely by students, but cost recovery measures will have to be taken next year.

    Richard Civille

  • Many issues still need to be resolved under the Telecom Act.
  • Farm Act was recently renewed, which offers a real opportunity for CN players in the rural United States--new money could be made available and opportunity is there for rural players to make some differences in policy

    CNs should pay attention to Rule-making proceedings for:

    Doug Schuler
    Axiom 1: CNs have the responsibility to strive for the highest standards.

    SCN Principles:

    User Policies

    Funding Models

    Are CNs inevitable? -- they will happen if people want them to happen. We are struggling to create community--it won't magically happen, but it can happen.

    Open Moderated Discussion
    Points Raised:

    The social and political landscape has changed, and it is continuing to change rapidly. Community networks may feel they are in competition with the commercial market, but corporate for-profit organizations cannot achieve the same level of service as CNs because:

    Reported by Emily Lenhart.