The Multiple Aspects of Politics and Sustainability in CNs: Definitions, Challenges, and Countermeasures (v1)

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This deliverable discusses the politics of sustainability in general, in the information society, and in respect to community networks. The first chapter (written by Christian Fuchs) studies theoretical foundations of sustainability. It gives an overview of what sustainability is and traces the history of the concept (section 1.1). It then relates the concept to information technology and the information society (section 1.2). It identifies ecological, economic, political, and cultural dimensions of (un)sustainable information technology. Finally, the chapter uses the preceding discussion and discusses in section 1.3 (un)sustainability in the context of community networks. The chapter provides checklists that support asking sustainability questions. The second chapter (written by Maria Michalis) assesses the EU approach towards telecommunications liberalisation. It identifies two main eras: the initial era of the copper network (section 2.1) and the current era of the transition to NGAs (section 2.2). It examines the key characteristics of each period, before proceeding to present data about the structure of the broadband markets in the EU (section 2.3). There follows an examination of the role of municipality and community networks within the EU’s liberalisation approach (section 2.4). Finally, the chapter ends with some remarks about the current perception of community networks in the EU policy framework, their potential and pitfalls.