Banding together for bandwidth: An analysis of survey results from wireless community network participants

Gwen Shaffer


Using a resource mobilization framework, this study attempts to better understand the factors motivating people to join wireless community networks that enable members to share bandwidth. In addition, the research illuminates ties between this kind of peer-to-peer networking and civic engagement at a broader level. An in depth survey completed by 43 respondents from throughout Europe and North America found that participants in this movement felt a stronger sense of community, as well as were more likely to help elect local politicians and to work on local issue campaigns, after joining WiFi sharing initiatives. The study concludes with proposed policy recommendations—geared toward regulators, legislators and Internet service providers in the United States.


telecommunications policy, peer-to-peer networking, wireless, community networks, online civic engagement

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