MuniWireless Minneapolis 2006 Opening Notes

[Update: Esme Vos blogs her keynote here.]

Esme Vos

We need to have fun today! Giggle, laugh, and generally enjoy yourself

Why a digital inclusion day? Everyone can be active and visible today if you can get on the Internet. Le Monde called it the community revolution. Everyone can read it. You put a video on youtube everyone can read it. If you have something to say, you can aggregate the information.

Up until recently, the web hasn’t been collaborative. It was big media. Even today you have much faster download than upload speeds. You are just like NY Times if you have a blog so why should you have less upload speed. Why should they have a big byte and you have a little byte?

EU digital divide. There are 12 member states with regulation and harsh on incumbents, cheap bandwidth. Divide is rural vs. urban. Rural is dial-up. The young people who could generate economic growth for rural are leaving. Getting broadband there will help get them to stay.

Other divide is by age. Lots of older people even in cities don’t have broadband because they don’t think it’s important. Today, older people are not as active as young people.

In US, Minneapolis, divide is income based. Can’t afford the prices. But there is also an age issue, ethnicity issue. You have to break out of your US bias and think about these issues.

California, Loma Linda, will have fiber to the home. They will deliver 5, 10, 15 Mb for $30, $50, $100 per month. Rotterdam has symmetrical, 50Mb, 30 euros. Why is Loma Linda even bothering.

We need to tell politicians that this just doesn’t work. Let them know we read this on the Internet.

Top down structure, we want bottom up for the Internet. Think more about how we enable everyone to do bottom up, not top down. We should think about that.

Gary Bolles

There is a tremendous range of different perspectives here. We posted a survey for ideas today. We will talk about survey results. We will gather more information here on what you’re interested in. Then we lock-and-load on issues and have breakout sessions.

Best Practices and Creating Sustainable Initiatives are two that rose up. Also Funding Models.

Roles. Most of us want to participate in discussions. Networking is also high on the list.

What Else? Economic development and Digital inclusion. Hardware Bill of Rights -what should every person have. Educational initiatives. Best and worse practices. Citizen journalism. Community Benefits agreements. Local computer recycling/refurbishing centers.

What are we most passionate about? Some of these will become breakouts.

  • Creative uses of software
  • Closing the achievement gap
  • Future vision of internet – what do we want 35 years from now.
  • Economic development
  • Cultural development
  • Higher bandwidth. How high?
  • Community engagement
  • Building extensible systems, future proof
  • Accessing the home
  • Improve social justice
  • Getting online today
  • Technology literacy content
  • RFPs?
  • Vendor somethhing or other
  • Public vs. private

Sascha Meinrath

Sascha: remarkbly laptop-less group. We wanted this to be an unpanel day. Far more expertise out there than there is up here. Nominate someone to be the reporter. Then report when you return to the group. Say no to drones, keep it short. WE only have only 45 minutes.

Good mix of people.

Digital inclusion is relatively new but relatively old. We’re networking people not place. We can contact anyone at any time. We want to build a more justice and equitable world. Create a more exciting cultural economy where everyone can be a media producer. We want to be part of creating a more democratic civilization. Around 2001 the scene became more vendor driven. Liberatory stuff got dropped in favor of business models. If you don’t have massive buy-in you don’t get a good system. We have a duty to revolt.

Defining digital inclusion. Things that impact the woefully inadequate broadband penetration. We are now #12 in the world. And we are leaving out the people that we have always left out. Not good.

Something emerging. The right to communicate as fundametal right. We need to hoist up that banner.

Becca Vargo Daggett

Sorry for the cold.

Do you want digital inclusion to be a growth industry in your community. Don’t frame it solely in terms of DI. We have a hard time sustaining things that are targetted at those who don’t have. We have a better record doing stuff that helps everyone.

Are we creating a system that just gives a faster low-end (1Mb). We need to work with local government.

Think of a park that is just there for everybody and how it is just there for everybody. Are we going to let the free market build something for people who can pay and then make digital inclusion networks.

Make this a tool to have fewer have-nots. We don’t want to keep having subsidized aspects. We want it to keep money in our community.

Content vs. communication tool. We want to focus on content. Getting it to the Net.

This can strengthen the base of you community economy.

Gary Bolles

Designing sessions

  • business models
  • educations
  • economic and cultural development
  • bandwidh and infrastructure


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