Community networks are real-world examples of ways to increase access infrastructure and access to and development of ICTs, providing affordable and equitable access to achieve the WSIS vision (of a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Community Networks link directly to C2 as they contribute to “Information and Communication Infrastructure”. Given their local nature, they vary from country to country and from implementation to implementation, according to local infrastructure, needs, values, and practices.
In addition, they are directly linked to C8 “Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content”. There is evidence that the deployment, operation and maintenance of ICT infrastructure, governed according to local practices, leads to broader “Access to information and knowledge”, i.e., WSIS Action line C3. An enabling environment, catalyzes community networks and is required to strategically deploy them (C6). To empower communities to build, deploy, and sustain community networks, it is important to build local capacity (C4). Finally, both “International and regional cooperation” (C11) as well as “public governance authorities and all stakeholders” (C1) have an important role to play in creating this enabling environment that will contribute to bridge the digital divide.