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ITU Journal: ICT Discoveries

The ITU Journal: ICT Discoveries publishes original research on ICT technical developments and their policy and regulatory, economic, social and legal dimensions. It builds bridges between disciplines, connects theory with application, and stimulates international dialogue. This interdisciplinary approach reflects ITU’s comprehensive field of interest and explores the convergence of ICT with other disciplines. It also features review articles, best practice implementation tutorials and case studies. The ITU Journal welcomes submissions at any time, on any topic within its scope.

English

Refle​ctions on alternative Internet models and how they inform more mindful connectivity

Internet access is often touted as the means by which communities will become more productive, educated, healthier, safer. While Internet access is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, high-speed, and affordable, some communities without ubiquitous Internet have developed hybrid strategies, or alternative Internet models, that allow them to get many of the benefits​ of constant connection. In this article, we argue that even communities with ubiquitous Internet have much to learn from these successful hybrid models, especially when considering the mental and relational health of communities. We surveyed a handful of communities that either through necessity or choice are using alternative Internet models that deliberately turn off portions of the typical Internet dial-tone including the delay-tolerant networks of extremely remote communities, Internet cafes used as low-cost communal points of access, El Paquete Semanal (Cuba's offline Internet alternative), and communities of "preppers" who seek to prepare for the collapse of modern infrastructure. We use the experiences of these communities with alternative Internet models as a lens through which to consider more mindful models of Internet consumption that might allow us to reap some of the proven benefits of Internet connectivity while avoiding some of its more damaging side effects.

English

Keywords: mindful Internet, alternative Internet models, community networks
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