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Article 14 - Reflections on alternative Internet models and how they inform more mindful connectivity

Article 14 - Reflections on alternative Internet models and how they inform more mindful connectivity
Year: 2018
Persistent link: http://handle.itu.int/11.1002/pub/8129f4b5-en
Internet access is often touted as the means by which communities will become more productive, educated, healthier, safer. While Internet access is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, high-speed, and affordable, some communities without ubiquitous Internet have developed hybrid strategies, or alternative Internet models, that allow them to get many of the benefits? of constant connection. In this article, we argue that even communities with ubiquitous Internet have much to learn from these successful hybrid models, especially when considering the mental and relational health of communities. We surveyed a handful of communities that either through necessity or choice are using alternative Internet models that deliberately turn off portions of the typical Internet dial-tone including the delay-tolerant networks of extremely remote communities, Internet cafes used as low-cost communal points of access, El Paquete Semanal (Cuba's offline Internet alternative), and communities of "preppers" who seek to prepare for the collapse of modern infrastructure. We use the experiences of these communities with alternative Internet models as a lens through which to consider more mindful models of Internet consumption that might allow us to reap some of the proven benefits of Internet connectivity while avoiding some of its more damaging side effects.

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