This text is a comparative analysis between Romanian and Cuban micro-ISP networks. These are services offered at the neighborhood level through which communities can connect to the internet and to services that are relevant for the locals.
Romanian community networks were the norm until the early 2000 and they are slowly being replaced by commercial ISPs, in the Cuban case, community networks co-exist with state providers but have to deal with the limited hardware resources available at the island given the US embargo. Our aim is to depict the current uses of micro-ISPs in the selected countries, to critically establish their strengths and risks, and to discern the future role of such technical arrangements in a world of failing capitalism.
We will use a feminist lens to examine the gendered aspect of this practice and study to which extent women are users and implementers of micro ISP networks. Moreover, our comparative approach will allow us to determine productive juxtapositions between socialist logics and autonomous digital infrastructures.
The report will be informed by past fieldwork performed by the authors in Romania and in Cuba.