FLOK in Ecuador is Not What Was Promised
Time to Conduct an Autopsy on a One-Time Utopian Dream
In September 2013 the “government” of Ecuador engaged Michel Bauwens and a team of researchers from the the P2P Foundation to come to Ecuador. They were to design a process to put before Ecuadorian politicians and citizens that, if it were adopted, would fundamentally change the organization of the economy of the country – a “reimaginging” in the words of the press release -- to enable the citizens of Ecuador to live more decent and fulfilling lives. The FLOK project, it was said, would create a national, open, commons-based knowledge society.
It turns out that this was largely propaganda, and I publish this issue of the COOK Report with great regret. Over the last eight months I have devoted several hundred hours of my time to writing a policy paper requested by Michel Bauwens, Research Director of the FLOK project. I undertook this assignment on the basis of information that came from people I trusted, including Michel – a person I admire and have up to now felt aligned with – who, I’m sorry to say, also had not done enough due diligence to investigate the real record of the Ecuadoran government and the people like Rene Ramirez the Minister of Higher Education, Science Technology and Innovation (Senescyt) and Carlos Prieto, Rector at IAEN, the National Institute for Advanced Studies making day-to-day decisions.
Some of the topics we explore:
- economic framework for thinking about technology
- fiber as economic infrastructure
- change from PSTN to all IP over fiber
- business models- domestic and global
- green IT, mobility, wireless
- new carrier models
- community fiber
- enterprise fiber & NRENs