Commoning the smart city: A case for a public Internet provision

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Description: As cities become more involved in data-driven processes of growth and governance, critical scholarship has highlighted the formidable issues around ownership, uses and the ethics of collecting, storing, and circulating such data. However, there has been less focus on the physical infrastructure as the ‘last mile’ problem for Internet access, between a revanchist perspective on the ‘broken Internet’ delivered by digital capitalism and the liberal rhetoric of the Internet as a human right. Through two case studies, the paper plots a pragmatic trajectory in the adoption of the Internet for people and ‘things’, highlighting benefits and challenges around the long-term sustainability and maintenance of the Internet as an infrastructure of the commons. An attention to ‘commoning’, in fact, reveals the exclusionary or enabling practices the smart city might foster. Thus, the paper advocates for the direct involvement of the city and its citizens in maintaining and reproducing connectivity networks in the smart city.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

Has supplemental materials for Commoning the smart city: A case for a public Internet provision on SocArXiv

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