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Thursday, 12 November 2009

Update on INCA

Following a productive conference call just now with Andy Carter (BIS), Malcolm Corbett (CBN) and Shaun Fensom (CBN) plus a host of interested parties from community networks, major commercial carriers, community broadband FiWi suppliers and others, I thought I'd update the people who keep asking about INCA...

1. The incorporation of INCA as an IPS is ongoing and should be completed in the next few weeks.

2. Concerns were expressed that the steering group may not be sufficiently representative yet of certain sectors. Obviously, as with COTS, membership of the steering group requires dedication and a commitment of time and involvement, so the proposal is to get a copy of the current steering group members asap and see where the gaps occur.

Then to propose at least 3 or 4 people to ensure the steering group is inclusive and representative of all stakeholders who need to be involved with INCA for the best end result. The consensus of the meeting was that it is in no-one's interest if the steering group is too large, but it must be inclusive of all stakeholder interests.

The approach implemented by Peter Shearman, BSG, with COTS, where there is a wider forum with a tighter steering group, is recognised to have merit and should be replicated with INCA.

3. Anyone interested in membership of INCA and/or to put themselves forward for the Foundation Board (see 4) should contact Steve Spillane or Malcolm Corbett in the first instance. Contact details available on

4. The Foundation Board will not be elected but will be put in place purely for the minimum time required to go through the necessary due process to get INCA up and running.

5. The full Board will then be democratically elected by the membership following no rmal co-operative/IPS requirements under Co-operative UK Green 2 rules.

6. CBN expressed the wish to disengage themselves from INCA at the earliest opportunity to ensure there is a clear separation between the two organisations. In the meantime, however, CBN 'staff' are those to get in touch with if you have any questions regarding INCA.

7. A list of key objectives for INCA will shortly be available.

8. For those attending the conference in Leeds next week, there will be an INCA 'workshop' and a platform announcement regarding INCA. For those unable to attend, there may be problems for the conference organisers with live streaming, but it is to be hoped that someone will video the INCA session and make it available to all post-event, (Fibrestream have offered to do this on behalf of everyone) and that at the very least there will be a Twitter backchannel for remote participation.

9. There will be meetings announced shortly by Malcolm Corbett to ensure that all those who wish to get involved in the steering of INCA have been given the opportunity to do so, and there will be video conferencing facilities available for those meetings. (Courtesy of Cable and Wireless)

10. Anyone who is not on the CBN mailing list is currently not getting INCA mailouts, contact Steve Spillane or Malcolm Corbett until such time as INCA has fully operational, independent adminstrative systems.

Couple of extras: INCA's primary purpose is as an umbrella organisation to provide a national point of reference for independent NGA networks, large and small, urban and rural. There is no intention for INCA to step on the toes of existing or potential commercial and public sector funded projects or activities, but rather to support them.

I am still seeking clarification as to whether membership of INCA is a pre-requisite for seeking public funding from the upcoming pots, but it is hoped that this is NOT the case, as it is essential that those projects who choose to operate independently of INCA can do so without prejudice.


Cybersavvy UK said...


BIS have confirmed that "membership of INCA is voluntary and being a member or not, does not have a bearing on the allocation of BIS funding. The principle of the INCA organisation is that it is inclusive and operates to help local and community projects etc." (Andy Carter)

CBN had presented a three part proposal to BIS - INCA, Jon and the Local Development Service (aka mentoring). Andy Carter stated that neither JON nor the LDS are considered appropriate for funding by BIS at this time.

fibrelight said...

A bit late but still relevant. One of the inspirations for INCA is the U.S. organisation, the National Telecommunications Community Association (NTCA). It's well worth a look over the pond to see what they're doing, particularly if you're still trying to get your head around what INCA could do for us over here. Their web site as at