A phone is not enough

By Osama Manzar

Sept 2020

When the coronavirus pandemic set in and a rigid lockdown brought life to a standstill across India, millions of migrant workers left cities and headed back to their villages to be with their families. They carried with them their sparse belongings in small suitcases and backpacks, but their most valued possession was always kept at hand — a cheap mobile phone with prepaid talk time. Read More

Almost half the world is living through this pandemic without the internet

By Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

June 2020


When the coronavirus pandemic began to spread through Colombia, creeping its way to the town of Uribia, the only information Angela Montiel could get about Covid-19 was from her neighbors. They told her a deadly virus “like a whooping cough” was gripping the country and had even hit the nearby city of Maicao.  Read More

New Age Women: Women and Their Approach Towards Internet Connectivity In Rural India

By Sarbani Banerjee Belur & Ritu Srivastava

Oct 2019

In a fast-changing world that we live in today, our lives are dominated by the internet and connected devices. Technology has revolutionized our lives bringing about far-reaching changes, impacting society and enabling bringing about economic growth. A large part of the global economy is majorly benefitted through contributions from the digital economy. However, in the midst of this, women still face challenges and constraints in accessing, using and utilising technologies to enhance their quality of life. Read More

Community networks: Internet for the people, by the people | The Web Untangled

By Osama Manzar

Sept 2019

Published at Web Foundation

In the latest edition of The Web Untangled, our monthly series dedicated to unpacking issues core to digital access and rights, we look at the do-it-yourself networks built for the people, by the people — and why public access solutions like community networks are a key tool for closing the digital divide. In the Little Rann of Kutch, a salt marsh in the remote reaches of India, farmers work in extreme conditions to extract a rare type of salt. Read More

Why Community Networks Matter to Advance Internet Access for All

By Maiko Nakagaki

March 2019

Published at A4AI

For the first time, by the end of 2018, over half of the global population was using the internet. While a moment to celebrate, getting online is still a challenge for many people across the globe for a number of reasons, including a lack of affordability. Read More

Internet Society, DEF highlight on community networks in rural India

By Qayam

Nov 2018

With a view to exploring synergies between community radios and community networks, Internet Society (ISOC), and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), a non-profit organization has emphasized the importance of community networks in the growth and development of Internet connectivity in India, especially in rural areas. Community Networks is the use of networking technologies by, and for, local communities providing a sustainable solution to address the connectivity gaps that exist in underserved urban, remote, and rural areas around the world. Read More

True Internet penetration in India is less than 10%

By Osama Manzar

Oct 2013

Published at LiveMint

Last week, the world gathered in Bali, Indonesia, for the 8th Internet Governance Forum (IGF). While IGF is a non-decision-making body with multi-stakeholder participation that discusses all aspects of the Internet in our life, it announced that more than 60% of the world is still not connected to the Internet. Read More