Community Base Station
Our overall goal is to increase access to mobile telecommunications and associated services and benefits by creating community-owned and operated micro-telecommunications enterprises in rural Oaxaca, Mexico.
Thanks to a variety of open-source efforts developed in the last few years (OpenBTS, OpenBSC, Asterisk, etc), it has become technologically and economically feasible for a community or an individual to provide carrier-grade cellular service to thousands of people.
Our approach combines regulatory reform, decentralization, community involvement, and the application of new technologies to connect people and communities to mobile services proven to increase access to information, development and, ultimately, quality of life.
Eventually, our goal is the formation of a state-wide community telecommunications cooperative that encompasses all of the member communities with GSM networks, and provides a platform for mobilization around regulatory issues, resource and profit-sharing, economies of scale for interconnection with existing telecommunications infrastructure (telephone and Internet), technical capacity building and maintenance.
Concretely, we are focused on the following:
Regulatory reform and advocacy
Create spaces within national telecommunications regulatory frameworks to allow for community-based communications initiatives to thrive and grow.
Programming and documentation
Integrate and develop FOSS to facilitate ease-of use for community deployments of autonomous GSM networks. Document the entire architecture (in English and Spanish), and package everything into a replicable stack usable and suitable for non-technical users.
Installation, maintenance, repair
Coordinate all aspects of the physical installation of equipment, technology, etc. needed to meet the communications needs of specific communities. And ensure this equipment is regularly maintained by the organization and the community and that repairs are made in a timely and efficient fashion.
Work directly with selected community members to ensure they know how to operate, maintain and troubleshoot the equipment, as well as how to use the technology for community benefit.