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

  • Gwen Shaffer University of California, Irvine
Keywords: telecommunications policy, peer-to-peer networking, wireless, community networks, online civic engagement

Abstract

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.

Author Biography

Gwen Shaffer, University of California, Irvine
Postdoctoral fellow in the Bren School of Information and Computer Science
Published
2011-04-27
How to Cite
Shaffer, G. (2011). Banding together for bandwidth: An analysis of survey results from wireless community network participants. First Monday, 16(5). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v16i5.3331
Section
Articles