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Community Broadband Awards - 2005
By: MarkJ - 17 January, 2005 (1:26 PM)

In recognition of the achievements made by small networks, which link up remote communities over broadband, a new set of awards has been setup:

Across the country, communities are springing into action to set up community-owned and run broadband networks to overcome the digital divide, and regenerate their communities.

Community networks are supplying broadband to areas which commercial operators deem unviable.

Community networks are offering consumers the choice of provider, often over co-operative wireless networks.

A recent survey by the Community Broadband Network (to be released February 2005) has identified around 400 such community access networks (CANs).

In recognition of the achievement of these networks, the first CANdo Award ceremony will be held this week (19th January 2005) at a Colloquium for community networks, hosted by South Witham Broadband Ltd, and organised by Digital Dales. Many CANs have been started by enthusiastic volunteers within communities and are now reaching sustainability and profitability. The Colloquia offer these individuals and groups an opportunity to meet, share knowledge and ideas, discuss issues, get advice, and explore innovative new applications for their communities.

Community networks are particularly good for local multiplayer gaming, video conferencing and other bandwidth hungry applications where 'standard' broadband 'creaks'. And there are opportunities to develop new applications and content suited to the needs of their communities and delivered locally - examples of this include weather and traffic alerts, roundabout webcams, community calendars, remote backup systems for local users, and many more.

The Awards have been sponsored by MS Distribution Ltd, Feeed.com, Solwise, the Access to Broadband Campaign, Community Broadband Network, and Digital Dales. These awards reflect the passion, enthusiasm, and often out of the box approach community networks display regularly to overcome the many problems they face. Lack of funding has been a major problem for many, whilst lack of recognition for the work they are doing has now been solved with these awards. Voting is open now to choose the winners:


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