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Steve,
 
Thanks for your comments.  Here is our NTIA grant that was pulled because it
suggest fees.  It was replaced by a non-fee proposal, which I don't think is
doable. I think Hilly sent this to you some time back, but no one else has
seen.  This is one approach to the solution of financial insolvency.
Another we are working on is a two-tier approach in which the enhanced
access types pay for a free level of service.  Whatever.
 
Under the surface of this proposal there lies a number of things.  Can
elaborate if anyone is interested.
 
Comments are welcome.
 
        The Development of a
 
        Regional Second Generation
 
        Community Network
 
 
        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
        PROJECT NARRATIVE
 
I  INTRODUCTION
 
        A.  Problem Statement
 
Leon County, Florida and the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, in
cooperation with libraries in the region, and other partners (along with
associated instituions who will be asked to assist) will implement a
regional second generation community network.
 
An assessment of regional community network needs is set forth before.
 
        1.  Financial needs:  In an age of shrinking governmental subsidies, tax
subsidized community networks have no future.  For example, the Tallahassee
Free-Net (TFN), one of the nation's premier community networks, is facing a
financial crisis that is threatening its very existence.  To a large extent
the local net is a victim of its own success.  The 30,000 users require more
than $350,000 each year to maintain the current (and inadequate) level of
service.  The TFN needs to raise approximately $500,000 on a continuing
basis to enhance and expand the present system.  Community networks can no
longer rely on local, state, and federal tax supported grants.
 
        To ensure the survivability and economic viabiility of community networks
and their charge to provide universal access and public, educational, and
governmental services, this grant will implement a financially solvent
regional second generation community network.
 
        2.  Universal access and service:  Community networks have not been able to
successfully reach out to urban underserved populations.  For example, the
majority of TFN users are middle and upper middle class households. Second,
community networks have not sufficiently developed informational resources
and services that meet the needs of minority communities.  Further, most
rural users not only have to pay long distance charges to access networks,
but once they are on-line there is little information that relates to their
locality.
 
        The applicant proposes to provide network services to 12 counties in the
region, 10 of which are rural, by establishing regional partnerships and
through the deployment of  servers running the Supercomputer Computations
Research Institute's (SCRI) WANE (Wide Area Network Environment) technology
which will permit the development of local community networks.
Additionally, the applicant will develop minority informational resources
that meet the needs of these end user groups.  Last, a Computers Everywhere
program will collect, rehabilitate, and place computers into underserved
urban and rural areas for public access and private ownership.  This program
will be supported by library-based training for end users.
 
        3.  Economic development:  Community networks have not emphasized the use
of electronic infrastructure for local and regional economic development.
 
        The applicant will foment regional economic development through the Silicon
Coast Initiative.  This program will build on the regional installation of a
high speed network that will enable local governments and chambers of
commerce to market the region as a silicon-ready area.
 
        4.  Governance:  Community network have not realized the potential for
virtual governance.
 
        The partners propose to establish a virtual organization based on the
principle of one virtual user, one virtual vote that will be the basis for
the implementation of a regional virtual organization which shall conduct
the business of the not-for-profit corporation (501C3) over the community
network.
 
        B.  Significance
 
        This request for funding emphasizes the following national and local goals
and values:
 
        1. Economic sustainability:  The application involves the reinvention of
the present "freenet" and the invention of a regional network based on the
use of fees and charges as opposed to government subsidies to maintain,
enhance, and expand network operations.  This will involve cross-subsidies
within the virtual regional community to support the net operations in
counties that cannot afford the long run costs of a community network, and
the establishment of a development fund capitalized from fees for the future
expansion of the regional network to other communities in north Florida.
 
        2.  Universal access and service:  The application emphasizes the delivery
of network access and the development of services that meet the needs of
rural and urban underserved populations.  Rural access will be provided by
the State Department of Management Services (DMS) hardware and SCRI WANE
technology that is scalable, interoperable, and interconnectable.  Service
front-ends will be PPP, coupled to user-friendly shareware developed by
SCRI.  Access will be furthered by the implementation of a Computers
Everywhere program which will recycle computers for use as free community
access and for assignment to needy families.
 
        3.  Economic development:  The installation of a regional high speed
network and local community networks will be used as a key tool to create
jobs through the marketing of the region to high tech industries.
 
        4.  Democratic values:  The development of a virtual 501C3 will enable the
regional community network to be operated as a virtual organization.
 
        5.  The second generation model:  This application postulates that not only
the TFN but also similar first generation community networks are evolving
into organizations whose very existence is in question.  The dependent
variable--the threat of the of the extinction of subsidized community
networks and their provision of universal access and public, educational,
and government services --is theorized to be a function of impending
financial insolvency, poor service and access to underserved communities
(community legitimacy), their underuse as a mechanism to help create
economically viable jurisdictions, and the dearth of democratic models of
governance for community networks.  If this hypothesis is correct, then the
approach set out in this application, and its successful implementation,
could serve as a model for the development of viable and responsive second
generation community networks.
 
 
II  Implementation
 
        A.      Finances
 
        Objective 1:  Establish the regional network as a self-supporting network
by September 30, 1996.  Implementation:  The TFN and the Leon County library
shall:
 
        1.1     Conduct the first annual  fund raising campaign.  Outcome: raise
$250,000 annually.   Start date:  1/6/96; end date: 6/30/96.
 
        1.2     Conduct the first annual campaign for the commercial advertising,
access charges, and underwriting of network services.  Outcome:  collect
$250,000 annually.  Start date:  1/6/96; end date: 6/30/96.
 
        1.3     If an only if necessary, establish a two tier level of service system
which provides a fee-based service with fast access which would underwrite a
free level of service by March 31, 1996.
 
        1.4     If an only if necessary, conduct an electronic plebescite to ascertain
user support for the imposition of a user service fee for all users to cover
the difference between amounts collected by other revenue raising activities
and the estimated annual budget of the network of $500,000.
 
        The above revenues will be used to supplement the matches pledged by other
local sources and will bring the total local match to $250,000.  Portions of
future revenue streams will be used, in part, to subsidize low income areas,
connectivity of underserved populations, and the expansion of the network
into additional areas of north Florida.
 
        If and when it becomes necessary to charge fees, none of the libraries in
the region will be able to participate from that time forward, since this
would be contrary to local and state policy which prohibits libraries from
charging for services.
 
        B.      Universal Access and Service
 
        Objective 2:  WANE Everywhere:  Establish a rural community network in the
counties of Jackson, Calhoun, Bay, Gulf, Liberty, Franklin, Wakulla,
Jefferson, Madison, and Taylor counties, and enhance the current systems in
Leon and Gadsden counties by December 31, 1996.  Implementation:  The
applicant shall:
 
        2.1     Establish, by December 31, 1996, DMS and SCRI WANE servers, software
(PPP, scalable, interoperable, and interconnectable), and connectivity for
all counties in this application that do not have community networks. This
equipment will be funded by DMS.
 
        2.2     Concurrent with Objective 2.1 develop information resources and
homepages with each county and institution participating in the program by
December 31, 1996.
 
        2.3     Network services will include e-mail, ftp, news, and other common
internet services. The client machine standard shall be, at a minimum, 386SX
computers with at least 1MB of free disk space, 4MB of RAM, and a 9600 baud
modem (or comparable Macintosh equipment)  which will permit them to run
WANE client software.   This design will not exclude those who have 286
interfaces since Linux will be available over the regional network.
 
        Objective 3:  Develop informational resources for urban and rural
underserved communities by December 31, 1997.  Implementation:   The
applicant shall:
 
        3.1     Work with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) to
place on the Internet:  the Black Archives,  FAMU information on University
enrollment and related items, agricultural and small business development
services, links to other traditional black colleges, black-oriented local
urban and rural resources, and African-American community-based information,
such as the  descriptions of services available from the NAACP, the Urban
League, and other African- American institutions by June 30, 1997.
 
        3.2     Subject to availability, additional information to be uploaded by
December 30, 1997 include information on: GIS systems, agricultural
extension, state and county health departments, the City of Tallahassee,
state agency services, and Second Circuit Court judicial services.
 
        3.3     Interactive services to be brought on-line by December 30, 1997
include:  distance learning courses, homework help line, governmental forms
(e.g., building, job applications, etc.), institutional data sets (e.g.,
property appraiser data), a regional job bank and an employment application
service,
 
        3.4     In cooperation with Hispanic organizations of north Florida and the
State of Florida, develop bi-lingual and bi-cultural resources for the
Hispanic population of the region.
 
        Objective 4:  Computers Everywhere:  Provide underserved communities and
families with recycled computers to enable access to the services of the
regional network.  Implementation:  The applicant, partners, and associated
institutions  shall:
 
        4.1     Enter into intergovernmental and private sector agreements by January
1, 1996 in which these organizations agree to donate 386 computers they are
replacing to the library for their future placement into public access sites
and subsequently into the homes of underserved families.
 
        4.2     These recycled computers will be donated or assigned to the Leon County
library for refurbishment to ensure that they are operable and compatible
with their use as PPP clients through a joint venture with Lively Vocational
Technical College or other not-for-profit computer rehabilitation services.
Further, these computers will be recycled to the persons with disabilities
in the region.  This program element will be implemented by the library on
or before March 31, 1996.
 
        4.3     Develop by March 31, 1996, an outplacement policy that will, first,
identify free public access sites throughout the region for recycled
computers, such as libraries, public health departments, and other sites.
Second, once computers have been placed at free access pubic access sites,
additional computers will be assigned to needy families who have received
training at regional libraries in the use of computers and network services.
 
        4.4     Seek an amendment to Sec. 274.06. Florida Statutes which currently
prohibits the donation of local government property, such as computers, to
needy institutions and families by June 30, 1996.  Prior to the passage of
this amendment, qualified individuals and institutions will be given
vouchers, funded by network revenues, to purchase computers (covering
salvage and repair costs).
 
        4.5     Establish a consumer buyers club and develop institutional hardware
purchasing agreements to buy down the cost of equipment needed for the
regional network and users by September 30, 1996.
 
        C.      Economic Development
 
        Objective 5:  The Silicon Coast Initiative:  Facilitate telecommuting and
foment the marketing and enhance the economic viability of the region by
stressing the area as silicon-ready and by implementing network-based
economic development and marketing by June 30, 1996.  Implementation:  The
applicant shall:
 
        5.1     Develop an ecotourist home page with maps and related information for
the region and WWW home pages for counties, Tourist Development Councils,
and chambers of commerce to market the region by June 30, 1996.
 
        5.2     Upload to the community network economic development related
information such as building and planning regulations, socio-economic data,
and general information on each community by September 30, 1996.
 
        D.      Governance
 
        Objective 6:  Establish a virtual 501C3 which will govern the affairs of
the 12 county regional network.  Implementation:  The regional network shall:
 
        6.1     Draft a constitution and by-laws of a virtual corporation which shall
enshrine the values of one virtual person, one virtual vote, and the
principles and practices of democratic governance (the election of officers
by user/members, the inclusion of the national library bill of rights to
ensure open dialogue, privacy, freedom of information, and other rights and
responsibilities).
 
        6.2     Establish under the 501C3 a not-for-profit minority-oriented
enterprise which will develop a centralized regional administrative support
system to provide economies of scale for registration, billing, technical
support, information and interactive applications development, and network
services.
 
        E.      Partners and Community Support
 
.       Partners and associated institutions who will be asked to help implement
the grant and a brief description of their qualifications follows.  This
grant will be administered by the Leon County library.  Michael Rouse, the
County's Free-Net Coordinator has held this post for two years and is
responsible for the development and management of information for the Free-Net.
 
        Other grant partners include libraries in the region.  While having little
Internet experience, these partners know each of their counties and will be
the key agencies in the collection and uploading of local information. SCRI
has performed the systems operation functions for the TFN for two years and
has developed under its director, Dr. Dennis Duke, the WANE technology which
shall be placed in each county in the region.  TFN, under the tutelege of
Drs. Hilly Levitz and Duke has been in existence for two years and has
extensive knowledge in the formation and management of community networks.
The Second Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida will be supporting the
applicant in the integration of its regional communication needs.
 
        The applicant will be working with a number of associated institutions as
it begins to develop information resources.  These include:  Florida
Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) who has key African-American
information resources;  the City of Tallahassee;  Boards of County
Commissioners, City Councils, and other institutions in the region;  State
agencies for information provision including Elder Affairs, Health, Health
Care Administration; and DMS, the Florida Association of Counties, and the
Florida League of Cities.
 
III  Outcomes and Beneficiaries
 
        Objective 1:  Establish the regional network as a fee and service charge
network by September 30, 1996.  Outcome:  Self-sustaining community network
as measured by before and after profit and loss statements.  Beneficiaries:
All present and future users
 
        Objective 2:   WANE Everywhere:  Establish a rural community network in the
counties of Jackson, Calhoun, Bay, Gulf, Liberty, Franklin, Wakulla,
Jefferson, Madison, and Taylor counties, and enhance the current systems in
Leon and Gadsden counties by December 31, 1996.  Outcome:  Rural networks
and users in 12 counties as measured by the number of users before and after
the network installation event.  Beneficiaries:  A total estimated
population of 520,987 in the region would have local call access to their
own community network and to the Internet.
 
        Objective 3:  Develop informational resources for urban and rural
underserved communities by December 31, 1997.  Outcome:  The number of
underserved and rural information resources available on the net as measured
before and after the intervention.  Beneficiaries:  A total estimated
population of 520,987 of which approximate one-fifth live below the poverty
level.
 
        Objective 4:  Computers Everywhere:  Provide underserved communities and
families with recycled computers to enable access to the services of the
regional network.  Outcome:  Computers outplaced for public access and in
the homes of needy families as measured by numbers of same before and after
the program intervention.  Beneficiaries:  After locating public access
computers in the communities, the placement of approximately 1,000 computers
per annum to needy families.
 
        Objective 5:  The Silicon Coast Initiative:  Facilitate telecommuting and
foment the marketing and enhance the economic viability of the region by
stressing the area as silicon-ready and by implementing network-based
economic development and marketing by June 30, 1996.   Outcome:  Number of
leads, tourists, corporate relocations, and telecommuters attributable to
the regional network as measured by marketing surveys.  Beneficiaries:  An
estimated regional population of 520, 987.
 
        Objective 6:   Establish a virtual 501C3 which will govern the affairs of
the 12 county regional network.  Outcome:  The establishment of a
participatory 501C3.
        Beneficiaries:  Users of the network.
 
III  Evaluation
 
        The partners propose to evaluate this grant by using an approximation to an
interrupted time series analysis.  Key dimensions of program variables will
employ the above identified measures prior to and after the program
interventions.  Although this cannot be a rigorous time series analysis
because it will not be possible to obtain a sufficient number of data
points, its conceptualization and the proposed measures have more face
validity than a before and after study.  The design postulates that there
will be an intervention effect which is significant after taking into
account various threats to validity and stochastic effects.
 
        Appendices
 
SF 424-A Budget Form
 
        Two Year Grant Budget 1996-1997
        ITEM    COST
Personal Services       $0
Operating Expenses
  Contractual Services  317,500
  Phone lines (80 lines @ $180 ea.)     144,000
Equipment
70 phone lines @ $550 ea.       38,500
TOTAL
        500,000
 
 
 
Budget Narrative
 
The budgeted phone line expenses will improve the present level of service
of TFN which is now experiencing extensive problems with busy signals during
peak hours.  The additional lines will also support the new point and click
graphical interface that will go on line in May of 1995.
 
The balance of the grant funds is proposed to go to contractual services for
the hiring of a minority-oriented not-for-profit contractor.  This entity
would be a subcontractor of the library and would work with the library and
its partners to accomplish the objectives set forth in the project
narrative.  This privatized solution avoids the need to hire additional
temporary County staff.
 
Given the enormous scope of work for this project, program implementors will
rely heavily on the assistance and support of volunteers.
 
 Statement of Matching and Operating Funds
 
The total federal amount sought is $250,000 for an access grant.  This will
be matched 50-50 by $250,000 in regional funds as set forth below.  As can
be seen, this approach minimizes governmental subsidies and maximizes self-help.
 
SOURCE  MATCH
BCC Leon County library appropriation   $25,000
out-of-area registrations       30,000
donations       30,000
commercial underwriting 40,000
income from balance of region   125,000
TOTAL   250,000
 
 
The costs of placing computers in the libraries in the region will be paid
for by DMS.  Each server, phone line connection, basic training, and set up
will cost approximately $15,000 per site for a total expenditure of
$150,000.  Once this equipment is in place and additional funds are raised,
the County's contractor will begin to develop information resources for the
counties in the region.
 
A:\NTIA\NARRA.NTI
>>
>> On Sun, 2 Jul 1995, Brent Wall wrote:
>>
>> > Re:  again the demise of the Tallahassee Free-Net.
>> >
>> > I think that the bottom line is that we have to convince the users and
>> > payers of electonic systems that this form of commerce saves money and
>> > time.  And, given this "sales pitch", we have, for a number of sound
>> > techonological reasons, have not delivered.  If we are to save free or
>> > community nets in our jurisdictions, we, as commuunity nets, have to
>> > deliver the goods that prove that we save money and time.
>
>Brent, you are right about this, I think. Tally-FN has done a great job of
getting up and out for your citizens. It is crucial that you build efficiencies
>for stakeholders to provide core support.
>
>I would not begin to tell you how to do your business, and every situation is
>different. I will share with you what we're doing in Charlotte, just on the
>off-chance it might help you in some small way.
>
>Government.
>        1. Try to make stakeholders of public officials. One county
>commissioner has e-mail with us; others may soon. County gov't officials,
>from the manager on down, will get e-mail if they want it. And we'll set up
>PPP (well, cslip) if they want it. The county manager is on our board of
>advisors.
>        2. We are pushing both city and ocunty gov't to create online forms
>so people can apply for jobs and streetlights online -- and whatever else
>they think might help streamline processes and give people broader access
>to govt services.
>        3. We're placing three terminals in the city-county govt center whcih
>will be hooked to their ethernet and come to us over the net. We could have
done
>this with DOS machines and/or our 286 router solution, but they were willing
>to do ethernet at their cost AND build the cabinets to house the stuff.
>
>Nonprofits.
>        1. We're pushing interagency communication; e-mail, mailing lists, etc.
>        2. Forms. We're pushing efficiencies in sharing such things as
>intake forms (for homeless service agencies).
>
>Public Access.
>        1. We're pushing Mini-Hub networks in public housing, park & recreation
>sites, senior centers -- you name it -- and providing training and support to
>back them up. In many cases, with these we are using existing equipment -- DOS
>machines -- hooked to one of our Mini-Hub routers with a 28.8 modem and a
>dialup slip connection to us. We have 3 networks in place now and go-ahead for
>10-15 more right now. Once people get phone lines installed, we do the rest.
>
>Now, our grant is covering the networking cost. With DOS computers, though,
many
>sites could scrape up the money if they had to: ethernet cards, a little
>cabling and BNC connectors; a modem, 286 router and phone line are all that's
>required.
>
>My overall point is this, I guess: we are doing everything we can as we get
ready
>to open to the public officially at the end of August, to build in
stakeholders alone the way. We want people invested from the beginning.
>
>Commerce/fund-raising.
>        1. Right now, we're discouraging buying and selling on Charlotte's Web
>because we haven't figured out a way to do that fairly, that is that doesn't
>cut into local ISPs. We may not house anything on our system but instead could
>have people pay for links to their pages elsewhere.
>        2. Like everyone else, we're looking at phone line sponsorship and
>vanity ID sponsorship.
>        3. We're also making presentations throughout the area to companies,
>seeking *multi-year* commitments.
>        4. We're working wiht a local movie reviewer to sponsor a movie preview
>here. We would have a fund-raiser and give away tickets to the preview as a
>bonus for contributing and also turn the whole thing into a giant party.
>
>We are offering a lot eventually but are starting *small* -- delivering the
easy forms, the non-secure transactions and stuff like that to prove the concept
>and begin quickly developing relationships. Will it all work in the long run?
>Who knows, right?
>
>These are the highlights right now. Most likely you have already done all
>of these things and more, but just in case...
>
>Let me know if there's anything else I can do to clarify this or anything else.
>
>Steve Snow
>Project Director
>Charlotte's Web
>[log in to unmask]
>
>
Brent Wall
Leon County
Courthouse
Tallahassee, FL 32301
 
Ph:  904.488.9962   Fax:  904.488.1670  E-mail:  [log in to unmask]