Project Structure & Advisory

netCommons brings together research groups and institutions in the area of “networks” and collaborative platforms with expertise in engineering, computer science, economics, law, political science, interdisciplinary research. More specifically, the partners of netCommons include four universities, one research center and one nonprofit organization (UniTn, UPC, AUEB-RC, UOW, CNRS, Nethood, respectively from Italy, Spain, Greece, UK, France and Switzerland). The coordinator is UniTn via the ANS group led by Renato Lo Cigno at DISI.

netCommons aims to help existing community networks like and, to grow and replicate in more European cities and rural areas. To become more extrovert, more inclusive, and better understood by the wider population. To empower them to form both a means for equitable and affordable access to the Internet and community-owned infrastructures for the provision of local services.

To achieve these objectives, netCommons is organized in six principal work-packages:

  1. WP1, led by UPC, analyzes and clarifies the internal organizational model of different CNs. Organizational models influence both the socio-economic and management aspects of the network and the way relationships with external entities are implemented. The goal of this WP is to create a portfolio of organizational models that CNs can adopt to improve their internal governance, for a better and more democratic exploitation of their resources and to have a stronger impact on external society.
  2. WP2, led by AUEB-RC, investigates the sustainability of CNs, it will identify its political and ethical values, the incentives to make CNs grow and the tools that CNs can use to monitor that the ethical values are kept intact with the growth of the network. It will clarify the political values of CNs, and the related aspects of sustainability for CNs.
  3. WP3, led by UniTn, is dedicated to open-source applications for CNs. This WP will build on existing open source projects for P2P cloud and streaming applications and use them as building blocks to develop applications that can exploit the potential of CNs for local communications in the fields of distributed cloud systems and P2P video streaming. We will also develop a participatory methodology to improve the self-production of applications by CN members, with special attention to CAPS, and applications for crowd* use of the technical and social resources of CNs.
  4. WP4, led by CNRS will analyse CNs in relation to their surrounding socio-legal environment  and produce general policy guidelines for the internal management of the CNs and for policy makers to preserve CNs as a commons. It will raise awareness of the CNs managers and users on the legal constraints of their activity and produce recommendations for the policy-makers based on the CNs needs.
  5. WP5, led by UOW provides a strong interdisciplinary contribution to some key themes of Internet Science revolving around the topic of Alternative Internet/s. We will discuss the premises on which we can build an alternative, more sustainable model for the Internet, starting from experiences of existing “Alternative Internets”, such as CNs.
  6. WP6, led by NetHood maximizes the impact of research carried out the other WPs with communications and dissemination activities. We will dedicate a significant amount of effort in communicating the results of the project to key actors including CNs, neighbourhood communities, local authorities, stakeholders, politicians, and the wider academic community. We will achieve this objective by "translating" the outcomes of the project into the appropriate languages and perspectives of the different actors.

The WPs are strictly intertwined and interact one with the other, the following PERT diagram describes the interactions among the WPs, through deliverables and milestones:

PERT diagram Roles of responsibility of the project:

  • General Coordinator: Renato Lo Cigno
  • WP Coordinator: Leonardo Maccari
  • WP1 Leader: Leandro Navarro
  • WP2 Leader: Merkouris Karaliopoulos
  • WP3 Leader: Leonardo Maccari
  • WP4 Leader: Melanie Dulong de Rosnay
  • WP5 Leader: Christian Fuchs
  • WP6 Leader: Panayotis Antoniadis

The project has nominated an Advisory Board composed of personalities that are extremely relevant in the context of Community Networks. The AB mixes a blend of academics, practitioners and professionals that help us with continuous feedback and comments on our work: 
  • Adam Burns: Former technical manager for Australia's first national Internet Service Provider & APC sister network (Pegasus Networks), co-founder of the Australian chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-AU), founder of free2air (establishing early open wireless community networks across Europe, UK and Australia), co-author of the 'Pico Peering Agreement' and 'Legal Aspects of Open Public Networks'. He currently works in the fields of information security and personal data protection.
  • Stefania Milan ( Associate Professor of New Media at the University of Amsterdam and Principal Investigator of a ERC-funded project on the politics of big data (, Associate Professor of Media Innovation at the University of Oslo, formerly with the Citizen Lab (University of Toronto). As a digital rights advocate, she has been vocal in internet governance (mainly within the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and cybersecurity circles. In love with autonomous infrastructure.
  • Juergen Neumann  ( Initiator and co-founder of Freifunk and the Open Hardware Initiative, co-founder of the Open Hardware and Design Alliance and the Open Spectrum Alliance Europe.
  • Alison Powell: Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she was inaugural programme director for the MSc Media and Communications (Data and Society). She researches how people’s values influence the way technology is built, and how technological systems in turn change the way we work and live together.
  • Ramon Roca:  co-founder and the President of the Fundació Privada per a la Xarxa Oberta, Lliure i Neutral (The Foundation for the Open, Free and Neutral Network -
  • Arjuna Sathiaseelan: Dr. Arjuna Sathiaseelan is the CEO of the Ammbr Research Labs (part of the AmmbrTech group). Before moving to the industry, Dr Arjuna Sathiaseelan directed the Networking for Development (N4D Lab) at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. The research group conducted research on novel Internet architectures for improving and reducing the cost of Internet access. He founded and chaired the IRTF Global Access to the Internet for All (GAIA) research group and was a member of the Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG).
    After two very fruitful years of interactions, suggestion and debates in the summer of 2018 Arjuna Sathiaseelan resigned from the advisory board due to the overload of his new job. 
  • Steve Song: researcher, entrepreneur, and advocate for cheaper, more pervasive access to communication infrastructure in Africa.  He is a 2018 Fellow for Digital Inclusion at the Mozilla Foundation.  He is also a research associate with the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) where he works to expand the use of wireless technologies through shared spectrum strategies.   His blog ( is a popular destination for anyone interested in African telecommunications and Internet issues.  Since 2009, Steve has been actively maintaining public maps of undersea and terrestrial fibre optic infrastructure in Africa.   He is also the founder of Village Telco, a social enterprise that manufactures low-cost WiFi mesh VoIP technologies to deliver affordable voice and Internet service in under-serviced areas.