Community-Run Internet Networks
My postdoctoral research project looks at the rise of ‘community networks’ — internet networks owned and operated by ordinary people in local communities. These alternatives to big telecom companies are challenging corporate ownerships model for internet provision, connecting human beings over technologies. As an anthropologist, I use ethnographic methods (interviewing and observation) to understand how and why communities choose to take matters into their own hands and build the internet from scratch — and what their experiences can teach all of us about where our internet comes from and what it means to us.
The Oxfordshire Digital Inclusion Project
As more of our everyday lives become digitised, it is increasingly vital to ensure that everyone has access to a digital future. The Oxfordshire Digital Inclusion Project, a collaboration between the University of Oxford and the Oxfordshire County Council Libraries, reveals unique data-driven insights on the digital needs of people who are under- or unconnected to the internet and other digital technologies. By documenting and evaluating the digital needs of library patrons, this project works to improve digital assistance programmes for Oxfordshire citizens and makes policy recommendations to Government regarding its digitisation agenda for public services. This project is funded by a grant from the Knowledge Exchange Seed Fund.