The Ecology of Community Networking

  • Richard Lowenberg 1st-Mile Institute
Keywords: Community Economic Development, Civic Participation, Networked Ecology


"Last mile" is a supply-side driven term used by telecommunications providers to refer to the local loop; the last to be economically viable.   In globally networked societies, localities have opportunities to grow new economies.   Local must be considered the "First Mile".

"First Mile" is based on demand-side understandings.   It describes a local orientation for telecommunications infrastructure and services, focused on the difference to be made in the quality of peoples’ lives.   "First Mile" is a realization of the emerging ‘hyperarchical’ nature of networked economies, local-global relationships, innovation and social change; with intention that the Information Revolution be a "people’s revolution".

Author Biography

Richard Lowenberg, 1st-Mile Institute

Richard Lowenberg: inter-media artist, tele-community planner, eco-systems designer.   Founding Director, 1st-Mile Institute, Santa Fe, NM. Began using the term “First Mile” in early 1990s.


How to Cite
Lowenberg, R. (2013). The Ecology of Community Networking. The Journal of Community Informatics, 10(2). Retrieved from