Peter Bloom
2015, Mexico
His organization provides mobile phone service to isolated, indigenous communities
Telecommunications

Peter Bloom founded Rhizomatica in 2009 for the transfer of photos and videos between individual users without passing through the networks of large, telecommunication companies. Now this organization has become the umbrella that provides mobile phone service to people who live in areas without standard coverage due to a perceived lack of profitability by the traditional carriers.

In Mexico and other countries, there is no legal obligation to offer phone coverage across the entire country, which leaves this decision of where to build up the infrastructure in the hands of the telecommunications companies themselves. This has left hundreds of rural communities without access to mobile technologies.

With the intention of legalizing his project, Bloom initiated a negotiation with the Mexican government and received the first access license to use mobile radiofrequencies granted to a civilian organization (Telecomunicación Indígena Comunitaria, TIC AC, which translates as Telecommunications for the Indigenous Community). Thanks to this legal endorsement, Rhizomatica provides GSM (2G) mobile service to 19 communities in Oaxaca.

The communities established themselves as co-ops to which each user pays a fixed monthly fee, which is defined on the basis of the service´s maintenance costs, and a variable amount determined by the calls placed to numbers outside the local network.