Rhizomatica Community Telecommunications Infrastructure

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Rhizomatica Community Telecommunications Infrastructure
Date 2022/04/04
Time 19:00 - 21:00
Location TechInc
Type Other
Contact Becha, user:Becha
Alternative networks in Mexico, powered by Open Source SW, recycled HW & human need for connection


Fireside chat with Keith Whyte

Keith is a technology coordinator of Rhizomatica, visiting Amsterdam, on his way to Berlin. He's been working in Oaxaca, Mexico on indigenous Community Cellular Telephony project.

He will be sharing with us his experiences with community networks on multiple levels:

  • legal aspects of running a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) organisation & an NGO
  • physical layer: recycling decommissioned commercial radio equipment from 2G & 4G towers
  • challenges with Open Source core network software
  • social dimension: what are the local communities using the network for
  • cultural aspects: working with indigenous community authorities, who are both owners & users.
  • hacking commercial extractives telco rules: instead, giving zero-rating to community services!
  • tactical media: training local journalists to produce content for the community
  • circular economy: paying content creators from the part of the monthly fee dedicated for community sharing


  • When: Monday, 4th April 2022
  • Time: 7PM CEST (19:00)
  • Where: hackerspace TechInc, (h)ACTA, Louwesweg 1, Amsterdam
  • Free/Gratis
  • Refreshments: on donation

There might be "masala chai" (spiced tea) & craft-beer on tap...

+++++++ TechInc is following current COVID-19 rules by Dutch government +++++++ https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tackling-new-coronavirus-in-the-netherlands/coronavirus-measures-in-brief


Keith will give a short introduction to the Rhizomatica, and then Vesna will be moderating a discussion, aiming for the natural flow... : depending on who joins & which topics are of the most interest.

No slides, just whiteboard :)

There will be NO video conferencing or remote participation; no recording either. It's an informal exchange of information & learning from each other.


Keith is looking for

  • leads to funding opportunities
  • donations of equipment
  • offers to procure second-hand Ericsson 2G & 4G HW

Background Info

"Keith Whyte is a musician and intensive computer and network analyst who has been working with the communications needs of social organizations since 1991 when he ran a dial-up BBS and FidoNet node. In 2011, after informal discussions about community cellular possibilities with Peter Bloom, he set up initial trial GSM installations at the Contemporary Art Archipelago in Turku, Finland and The Global Contemporary at ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany. Keith has worked as part of the Rhizomatica team since the inception of the community GSM project.

From: https://www.rhizomatica.org/team/keith-whyte/

"Rhizomatica works as a bridge between the potential users of the technology and the engineers and developers of these efforts to ensure the technology is deployed and appropriate for use in the developing world. Its mission is to increase access to mobile telecommunications to the over two billion people without affordable coverage and the 700 million with none at all. Through efforts in Mexico and Nigeria, it uses new information and communication technologies, especially mobile telephony, to facilitate development and community organisation in the developing world.

Its approach combines regulatory reform, decentralisation, community involvement, and the application of new technologies to connect people and communities to services proven to increase access to information, development and, ultimately, quality of life.

(member of ACP since 2016)

From: https://www.apc.org/en/member/rhizomatica


This is part of the several education projects coordinated by BecHa: