Foundation Projects

Local Community-based Internet Infrastructure Development And Internet Utilization In Rural Indonesia

Yayasan Mitra Ruang Kolektif (Common Room Networks Foundation)

An existing partnership between Common Room, the Association for Progressive Communications, and the UK’s Digital Access Programme has resulted in the development of a School for Community Networking (SCN) in the Kasepuhan Ciptagelar region of Indonesia.

This impact grant will help the school provide necessary infrastructure for a ‘build out’ to extend Internet deployment and training for indigenous and other rural communities in and around ten locations.

This project was part of the SCN project initiated by Common Room in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communication (APC) in early 2021. Subsequently, the initiative became integrated into the Digital Access Programme (DAP), led by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in the same year.

Later on, SCN training and capacity-building programs were also developed in collaboration with ISIF Asia by the end of 2021. The main objective was to support Community Network (CN) infrastructure development as part of a strategy in addressing the digital divide challenges in Indonesia.

The project will provide towers, wireless equipment, servers, and training. It will also provide support as community-based Internet is rolled out, to help demonstrate ways the Internet can benefit these communities.

This objective was initiated with comprehensive approaches that consisted of training and capacity-building for local communities in rural and remote areas, CN infrastructure deployment and prototyping, as well as business model development. This also included research and policy advocacy, as well as knowledge production and distribution to sustain further CN infrastructure development and adoption in a larger context.

The bamboo-based internet tower in Ketemenggungan Tae, Sanggau Regency, West Kalimantan Province, was inaugurated at the end of August 2023. Prior to the tower's inauguration, an advanced technical training on internet networks was conducted to ensure that, upon its utilization, residents are already equipped to use the Internet meaningfully
A group of students stand outside, among trees and grass, near the School of Community Networking. There are banners with 'Class of 2022' on either side.
Members of the School of Community Networking, class of 2022
A group of students sit on mats on the ground outside while a teacher sits and speaks at a microphone. There are also bamboo structures providing shade for some students.
Discussions at the School of Community Networking in the Kasepuhan Ciptagelar region of Indonesia.
A student works at a laptop.
An image from the School of Community Networking in the Kasepuhan Ciptagelar region of Indonesia
Two students hold a piece of paper while a third with a pen gestures toward a network diagram they have drawn.
Students at the School of Community Networking develop ideas around a network project.