Stage 9
16:15 - 16:45
Access all areas - Independent Internet Infrastructures in Brazil, India and South Africa

Short thesis

The digital divide is a clear and persistent reality for the more than 4 billion people who cannot avail of the social, economic, and civic benefits resulting from access to the open web. The winners of the Mozilla Equal Ratings challenge will present three different solutions on how to connect underserviced communities.


The complex and multidimensional challenge of digital inclusion is being tackled by corporations, governments, and ever more so, by entrepreneurs and innovators. Before any of us create solutions though, we need to understand what the key barriers are to Internet adoption, and figure out the best ways to intervene.

In this session, three initiatives, the winners of the Mozilla Equal Ratings challenge, will present their solutions on how to connect underserviced communities. All three initiatives target different demographies and use different technologies:

  • Gram Marg Solution for Rural Broadband: The team from Mumbia, India has built an open source low-cost hardware prototype utilizing Television White Spectrum to provide affordable access to rural communities.
  • Afri-Fi: Free Public WiFi: The South-African team has created a financially sustainable model called Project Isizwe connecting brands to an untapped, national audience, specifically low-income communities who otherwise cannot afford connectivity.
  • Free Networks P2P Cooperative:  The Brazilian Cooperative enables communities to set-up networks to get access to the Internet and then supports itself through the cooperative fees, and while co-creating the knowledge and respecting the local cultures.


The three initiatives will present their work, exchange experiences and challenges and discuss how their efforts can be scaled in order to connect the next 4 billion.