Wireless Community Networks: Towards a Public Policy for the Network Commons?
The history of communication technologies is populated with conflicts between centralization and decentralization. While many of these technologies started or have existed at some point of their development as a decentralized structure, often replacing older technological paradigms, nearly all progressively evolved into concentrated clusters of power as a result of industrialization and of the reaffirmation of state sovereignty, following a Schumpeterian process of “creative-destruction” (Wu 2010). However, when the needs of citizens turn out to be systematically overlooked in existing power dynamics, decentralized initiatives may emerge as an attempt to disrupt the dominant hegemony and allow for the democratic re-appropriation of technology—a process that the philosopher Andrew Feenberg calls “subversive rationalization” (Feenberg 1995).
KeywordsInternet Access Wireless Community Network Telecom Operator Exclusive License Telecom Policy
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