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Community Networks 11 December 2018

Connecting Tusheti

The Impact of Community Networking in Europe’s Highest Settlements: Updates on Our Community Network Built in Tusheti

Tusheti is one of the highest and most isolated settlements in Europe — an ecologically unspoiled community of historical and cultural significance in the Greater Caucasus Mountains of Georgia.

The area’s sparse population and rugged topography has meant that it has been left unconnected by commercial operators for both Internet and often mobile voice services. To help address the isolation of the area, an independent locally operated wireless Internet service was set up in August 2017 with in-kind support from members of the community, the Georgian Telecom Operators Association, the ISOC Georgia Chapter and other local stakeholders as well as financial support from Internet Society (ISOC).

A year later, the Internet service continues to operate and has already provided a variety of benefits to Tusheti’s residents and visitors, particularly in the hospitality sector. These and other impacts and outcomes are described below in more detail in this status report which examines how access to the Internet in remote and rural areas such as Tusheti can help to foster social and economic development.

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