A community network (CN) is a bottom-up network created by a community of people with the goal of gaining control of their communications and overcoming digital divide. CNs are blooming, they range from small ones (tens of nodes) to gigantic ones (tens of thousands of nodes). They are made primarily of wireless links but in some cases, they mix wired and wireless technologies. CNs are generally unplanned and nonlayered, and the community tries to mirror the same approach in its governance, avoiding unnecessary management structures and relying on self-organization and spontaneous interactions. CNs are peer production platforms, a community of people that pools resources and contributes to build a shared value. While this value is generally immaterial (as in WikiPedia) CNs instead realize a distributed, peer-to-peer physical communication network. This paper analyses ninux.org, the largest CN in Italy, and one of the eldest in Europe. The goal of this paper is to understand if the spontaneous growth of the network and the community leads to a technically robust network and a socially robust community, or it hides the presence of (potentially interdependent) points of failure. We will show that, in spite of the original motivations of the ninux community, the network is fragile under several aspects, and we suggest ways to improve it.

Detecting and Mitigating Points of Failure in Community Networks: A Graph-Based Approach

MacCari, Leonardo
2019

Abstract

A community network (CN) is a bottom-up network created by a community of people with the goal of gaining control of their communications and overcoming digital divide. CNs are blooming, they range from small ones (tens of nodes) to gigantic ones (tens of thousands of nodes). They are made primarily of wireless links but in some cases, they mix wired and wireless technologies. CNs are generally unplanned and nonlayered, and the community tries to mirror the same approach in its governance, avoiding unnecessary management structures and relying on self-organization and spontaneous interactions. CNs are peer production platforms, a community of people that pools resources and contributes to build a shared value. While this value is generally immaterial (as in WikiPedia) CNs instead realize a distributed, peer-to-peer physical communication network. This paper analyses ninux.org, the largest CN in Italy, and one of the eldest in Europe. The goal of this paper is to understand if the spontaneous growth of the network and the community leads to a technically robust network and a socially robust community, or it hides the presence of (potentially interdependent) points of failure. We will show that, in spite of the original motivations of the ninux community, the network is fragile under several aspects, and we suggest ways to improve it.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3717573
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