guifi.net

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Information
Information doc: 
Contact: 

Fundació per a la Xarxa Oberta, Lliure i Neutral guifi.net Mas l'Esperança, 08503 Gurb (Spain) email: fundacio@guifi.net

Effective member: 
No
Country: 
Spain

 

guifi.net, enabling ”telecommunications 2.0”

guifi.net have promoted the deployment of open telecommunications networks, based on peer to peer connection agreements, since 2004. Participants connect their own network segment with others. The network is open, free and neutral: Open because do publish complete information about how it works and its components, allowing the participation of everyone who is interested; Free because the conditions are the same for everyone: Do not have a single or corporatised owner who may impose unilateral conditions on others; and Neutral because the extent of the peer to peer agreement is limited to the terms of connectivity only, and not the content.

Description of concept

Open network models are good for the development of an information society. Due to  openness, they are also a perfect scenario for affording equal opportunities to all and fair competition, where enterprises can provide their services and get a value from them instead of exploiting „acquired‟ rights. By enabling user self-sufficiency, co-creation and participation, promoting best practices while using the unlicensed spectrum at the end results with a positive social and civic development through the technology. The network grows primarily by using wireless technologies and through various kinds of tools developed by the community (GIS, Collaborative web 2.0, Configuration tools, Network Status and Monitoring, etc.) to support this model of self-building/managed networks. Every participant is responsible for the management of her own network segment, and is open to contributions of others. We work with "as is" connectivity, together with the rest of the network without the need for a having service level commitment with third parties.   

References and Track Record

Until now, the scope of the activities have been in what is known by the ”user loop”, and currently (November 2.008) provides broadband to more than 5,000 homes and the total network “path” extends over 6,000 kilometers of connections. We experience continuous and sustained growth, based entirely on self- generated user demand, which has been experienced in Catalonia, Spain, but willing to extend the experience all over the world.  Participants chose this model motivated for various reasons. Among these we have listed the following illustrations, without intending to limit our reach:

1. The need to seek solutions where there were no options for access to broadband, often in rural areas

2. Technology enthusiasts, freenetworkers or volunteers

3. Small and medium-sized service companies in the territory, that see options and possibilities to lend their services

4. Municipalities interested in improving digital inclusion

5. Professionals or businessmen who prefer a model where they maintain decision-making control over investment costs, lower TCO, reliability and control over service levels, and ownership over the segment of the network of their interest.