The Rete Civica
di Milano is a Community Network based in Milan, Italy. It is known
by its acronym, "RCM". The network was founded in September 1994
Civic Networking Laboratory of the Computer
Science Department of the State
University of Milan. For an inside look into the RCM, visit
The RCM is housed
in the university and supported by sponsors and by its members.
It is designed to offer a free, effective, and easy-to-use on-line
environment to the entire community. This network brings together
private citizens, non-profit organizations, local government, and
private companies, thus guaranteeing the right of on-line citizenship
To log on to
RCM and become a full participant in the community networking experience,
you will need to download the FirstClass
Client communication software and to become
a registered user. You can set the software to connect via modem
(+39-0255182133) or via TCP/IP (address fc.retecivica.milano.it
port 3004). Almost all the material can also be viewed in your web
browser, with read-only access to member conferences for "guests"
and read-and-write for registered users, available by clicking on
the RCM logo in the Home Page.
It is also possible
to register via the FirstClass Client. On connecting for the first
time, simply enter a User ID (a fifteen-character string with no
constraints, which is accepted if no one else has already used the
same one) and a password. Both will be used during any subsequent
The RCM offers
registered users the following services:
- A private
mailbox for receiving messages only.
- Access to
conferences managed by the RCM Administrators, where one can find
information, ask questions, and discuss matters concerning RCM
itself. These also include a subconference to download the FirstClass
client and the few free software items distributed by RCM, under
the Administrators' responsibility, and an on-line Help subconference.
- Read privileges
for the indices of RCM conferences but not the messages they contain.
In order to
read and write in the conferences, one needs to become member of
the network, i.e. part of the community, by following a simple three-step
procedure which is explained in a message included in the RCM News
conference (in Italian):
- Send a copy
of proof of identification (i.e. passport, driver license, etc.)
to the DSI Secretary's Office (fax number +39 0254101599).
- Write a short
'self-portrait' and make it available on-line in order to introduce
oneself to the other people on the network (Résumé command in
the File->Open menu of the FirstClass client).
- Send us a
message in which you accept the RCM
Principles & Etiquette (i.e. our board rules: don't exchange
software, don't send advertisements in private users' mailboxes,
About the RCM
information about the RCM and other community networks in Italy
and around the globe, here are some papers written by the Civic
Networking Lab team that describe the RCM experience.
most of the conferences generally takes place in Italian, of course,
although there is one conference where most messages are in Milanese
dialect. However, messages in English are not only welcomed but
encouraged in the Anglofilia
conference whose topic is English language and culture.
version of the RCM was created in collaboration with a group of
students from The
Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington.