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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  February 1996, Week 2

COMMUNET February 1996, Week 2

Subject:

Re: giving "local" meaning

From:

"Noel A. Davis" <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 4 Feb 1996 13:11:58 -0500 (EST)

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (81 lines)


I post this to clarify our status.  

One of the problems we do have is communication between our tech staff 
and our users and non-tech volunteers.

On Thu, 25 Jan 1996, Brent Wall wrote:

> Steve, Norman:
> 
> RE:  local, global, and access provision
> 
> The Tallahassee Free-Net started off as a not-for-profit access and content
> provider.  With the spin off of the TFN the new model is:  a joint venture
> with a private firm whose responsiblity it is to house and maintain the
> equipment (modems, servers). 

The private firm has committed to donating floor space, conditioned power 
and an Internet connection.

We have hired a half-time system person and have approx 40 hours per week 
of volunteer system support time committed.  These people (the volunteers 
and the half timme person) will be performing the system maintenance and 
the tech support.  There are still 1 1/2 positions being donated by the 
county libary that are doing administrative and user support work.

> The county library will be responsible for
> admin, training, sysops, etc.  FSU's SCRI will continue to lend tech
> support.  These functions, in part, are still being provided by volunteers.
> The TFN service is a full service operation--from text to POP and web browsers.
> 

We are indeed a full service operation.  The library is providing admin, 
training, user support and a help desk.

> The JV model were the private sector provides the connectivity and the
> public the content may have some merit.  The sysop/machine maintenance by
> the private entity must be paid for however.  Right now we are using
> sponsorships, donations, and fund raising to pay for net costs, supplemented
> by grants and government subsidies.  In the long haul, fees may have to be
> charged if government funding roll backs continue.

We are paying the half time person a salery and we do have 1 1/2 
positions donated by the library.  However we are doing well in my 
opinion.  I feel much more optimistic than you in the long haul.

If grants *and* donations were to reduce then this is correct however at 
this time this just has not come to pass.  The other piece of this is 
that as our dial in lines become less important (caused by a reduction in 
the cost and avalability of Internet connections from the home and 
business.)  It may cost less for us to operate.  


> 
> Me thinks our users would jump ship if we restricted their access to global
> sites, in part, I guess, because we started out providing full access.
> Using community nets to help develop a sense of place and community is
> difficult, I think, because the Internet itself is placeless--it floats as
> if in an ether.  The Internet destroys place through its globality.  In the
> long run, I don't think most folks will stand still for access limits.  I t
> is possible, I hope, to use the community net as a window to the world and
> as a resource to heighten the locality's sense of community through info
> sharing and the like.  In this effort, I think carrots harvest more than sticks.
> 

I agree with this, I do not feel that it would be in our interest to 
restrict access.  In fact our most recent conversations on this subject 
have tended to relax restrictions that we had in place.

The Internet changes things but I feel that it will aid in the ability of 
people to find a place and a community that they can belong to.

> Brent Wall
> Leon County
> Courthouse
> Tallahassee, FL 32301
> 
> Ph:  904.488.9962   Fax:  904.488.1670  E-mail:  [log in to unmask]
> 
> 

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