[An Internet for the rest of us. We can build a collaborative of
community organizations, educational institutions, municipalities,
publicly-owned utilities (especially those with wireless meter reading
capability) which can provide low-cost Internet access and bandwidth
independent of the telecoms. We could even include the post office as a
high-speed hub for smaller communities, with a public computer in each
Ottawa company provides dial-up internet to 4,000
CBC News Posted: Jan 28, 2012 3:03 PM ET Last Updated: Jan 28, 2012 3:59
One of Ottawa's first internet service providers is still in business,
offering dial-up service in a broadband world to 4,000 customers.
National Capital FreeNet, a not-for-profit that started in the
mid-1990s, says many people use dial-up because they can't get
high-speed where they live, only use the web for basic email, or can't
afford a faster service.
NCF member Gary Dear is on a fixed income.
"Dial-up is slower than molasses compared to what most people are used
to," he said, laughing.
But Dear, who lives in a subsidized apartment, said it's dial-up or
nothing. NCF's service costs $5 a month.
"It means an opportunity to connect with life and the world around me,"
NCF's executive director, Ross Kouhi, says their small number of staff
and volunteers also offer high-speed internet, at close to market
prices, to subsidize the dial-up clients.
"The customers that have high-speed tell us they kind of get that warm,
fuzzy feeling knowing that we're a member of the community," Kouhi said.
NCF rents the high-speed infrastructure from Bell.
"We're certainly worried that a punitive pricing model, if Bell were to
come out with one, could put us out of business pretty quickly," he said.
But Kouhi feels NCF's future looks bright, having just completed a
successful fundraising campaign.
In 2010, four per cent of Canadians used dial-up, compared to 79 per
cent who used broadband. The rest had no internet connection in their homes.
Low cost internet for Ottawa Community Housing tenants
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Wednesday, December 21, 2016 5:16PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 21, 2016 7:10PM EST
The digital divide is getting a little smaller for residents of Ottawa
They are being offered low-cost internet services through National
Capital FreeNet; a life line to education and employment.
Most of us take it for granted: with a click of a button, we have
access to the World Wide Web.
But that access comes at a cost.
Residents in downtown Ottawa say internet is a costly necessity.
“How much do I pay?” says one woman, “Too much!” she laughs.
“I have a high-end package,” adds another man, “it adds up to about $120
For many folks living in social housing, that cost has been out of their
reach. Until now.
Ottawa Community Housing has teamed up with National Capital FreeNet to
offer low-cost internet to its 32-thousand tenants.
“It’s really a tool,” says Stéphane Giguere, the Chief Executive Officer
of Ottawa Community Housing, “a tool for education, communication, for
The program will be launched in January. For $25 a month, plus a modem,
tenants will get unlimited access and a window into a world that has
shut many of them out.
“I think without exception, every business, every company, every school
thinks everybody has internet,” says Bill Robson with National Capital
FreeNet, “and everything is tailored to that and unfortunately not
everybody has it now.”
National Capital FreeNet is a non-profit internet service provider. A
substantial bequest will help fund this low-income program for possibly
hundreds of Ottawa Community Housing tenants.
“We're not sure how many will subscribe,” says Robson, “It could be a
handful to hundreds. We're a little worried but looking forward to it.”
So, too, are many of the tenants; being part of something many of us now
can't do without.
“Could you live without your internet?” an Ottawa resident is asked as
he hustles by, doing Chistmas shopping, “No, oh no, not possible,” he
Tenants with Ottawa Community Housing just need to contact National
Capital Freenet at www.ncf.ca or 613-721-1773 ext. “0” to sign up. It
starts January 3rd.
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