Towards Place-peer community and civic bandwidth: a case study in community wireless networking
AbstractThis article presents findings from an ethnographic case study of one urban Community Wireless Networking (CWN) group, Wireless Toronto. A key purpose of the study was to understand, "what do CWNs have to do with “community”?" Diverse notions of community were found to be central parts of volunteers' discourse, especially when trying to understand their overall rationale for provisioning free (public) wi-fi. To this end, the article offers a conceptual framework comprised of ideas related to social capital, community networks, community informatics, and (socially constructed) visions of technology. In all, the study argues that the social impact of CWNs is both practical and symbolic-ideological.
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