In order to bridge the so-called "digital divide" between those with access to new communications technology and those who lack it, communities will need to consider new business models, according to a new report by the New America Foundation.
At an event Tuesday, telecommunications researchers discussed innovative ways that communities are providing modern communications systems to low-income users and underserved areas.
"For over a decade community wireless networks all around the globe have been flourishing, and the technologies behind them have been flourishing, but we've heard very little about their successes and challenges," said Sascha Meinrath, director of the foundation's Open Technology Initiative.
The report highlights "global best practices" from the United States and Europe.
"By leveraging local capacity, which can range from the technological smarts of community residents to antennae mounts on buildings, it is clear there are many alternative models cities can utilize to advance their communications infrastructure," the report concludes.