Free Community Networks in Catalonia with

Ramon Roca from talking to ARTE-TV.

Thanks to Elektra for the translation.

Gurb in Spain
1002 km to Brussels

Ramon: The NSA scandal almost makes us laugh I have founded so we can build broadband internet access ourselves.

Voiceover: Here in the middle of the catalan nowhere a digital revolution started 10 years ago.

Ramon and his neighbors have build their own broadband internet because the big commercial providers had no interest in providing access to the village and its vicinity. Today, is one of the greatest altenative networks in the world.

Ramon: I want to show you where the cables merge together. Right here. This rack is the equivalent of a telephone switchboard in a village. It is a bit dirty because this shag actually belongs to my garden. What it can do is impressing. I can’t say it precisely, but these are the routers of 5000 households.

Overdub: In a Freifunk-Network the participants are networking among each other and not via Internet providers. They can directly share data with each other, chat, write e-mails. A decentralized network that the users control themselves.
Thereby their data is secured from access by third parties. Meanwhile, the Internet-Guerilla are able to roll out their own fiberline network. Today, Ramons colleagues are working since 3 AM. We all know that the government operates slowly.
We can’t wait until laws are solving all our problems.

In our case this also comfortable for us: With regards to communication, we can do or not do whatever we like.

SAX2007: International WSFII Summit in Catalonia

(via Jürgen Neumann, original post @

In Katalonien findet im Juli ein interessantes Communitytreffen statt. Vielleicht interessiert es einige Freifunker.

This year, the traditional meeting for the free civil networks in
Catalonia (SAX) will be extended to new contents, will take a week and
will be extended to new participants worldwide and therefore affiliated
to the WSFII (World 
Summit for Free Information Infrastructures). The registration will be
free and everyone interested in developing non-proprietary networks is

The main purpose of the SAX & WSFII event in
Catalonia is to empower and develop at all levels the civilian, open
and free infrastructures as an alternative to the classic
proprietary/corporate owned or operated network models. Around this
objective, we plan to have presence with panelists from all the actors
involved, including local government, enterprises of any size,
regulator authority, and of course, the geek community involved in the
research and development activities and the users in general.

should come to this SAX2007 & WSFII  event if you are part of a
user community or you want to start one, a local government or local
business and you whish to share your experience or understand how free
networks can become a success and sustainable instead of just draining
funds to feed unprofitable "business" models.

Take a look at the schedule. Wou'll see there the topics and the major actors of the open networks worldwide. 

event will be scheduled by days; some might be in parallel (stay tuned
to the schedule, which may change until the very last day): 

In all cases, will be keynotes, panelists and open discussions. Where makes sense, will be also practical exercises.

  • Business day. How
    can any business be friendly developed within the context of neutral
    and free infrastructures? How this can provide good ROI cases and boost
    productivity? What is saying the Spanish regulators about that? Success
  • Developer's day. How developers, hackers and geeks can contribute? Which are the methodologies for doing so? Hacking, new things, what to do…
  • Backbone day.
    Keeping the network up to date to the state of the art of the
    technology. We will configure a telecommunications tower with both long
    distance links and CPE coverage to the users at Sant Bartomeu del Grau.
  • Local government and municipalities day.
    What means civil and free networks and which unique benefits local
    governments and municipalities can take from them? Why they are a great
    opportunity for developing the civil society and increase digital
    inclusion percentages up to unprecedented levels? Real world examples:
    Hear some elected people experiencies and regulators. Understand how
    more than 40 municipalities have succesfully participated in building
    free networks around
  • User's day. How
    it works and how non-technical people can participate in the free
    networks? Benefits. How to connect. What has to be done at home.
    Equipments to buy or consct. Trainings.
  • " tour". Visit and see how solar powered backbone long-distance links provide broadband access to rural areas in the pyrenees mountains.
  • Community day. What we can do, as a community, to help each other? Find out synergies, common tactics and strategies.
    • In Catalonia (SAX)
    • In Spain (redlibre)
    • South Europe, Europe worldwide and developing countries (WSFII)

Everyone interested in adding content to the SAX&WSFII is very
welcome, just contact us. Only take in mind that SAX&WSFII is about
free (as in freedom, not as in beer or as in built with open source but
proprietary) network infrastructures.