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>On Mon, 9 Sep 1996, Donald Chan wrote:
>
>> Actually I advocate charging very little or nothing for this, as it
>> should be part of the Community Network (but thats just my opinion).
>> Public money is being spent on Freenets, but like public libraries, 
>> the money is not wasted if the community benefits. So why not PPP?
>
>Not all freenets are publicly funded; ours started with a state grant but
>now depends solely on fees and donations from users and info providers.  I
>rather like not adding to people's tax burden, and I see there's at least
>one other libertarian active here that probably agrees with that.  If the
>goal is not to be the masters lording it over the commoners, we should
>start by not taking their money by force.
>
I think many Freenets have slightly less funding than what you mention. 
Many start with nothing, then seek donations and apply for funding, usually
a partial donation matching scheme for a limited time. They are reaching
the end of their government assisted periods around now, and fees
are being instituted or partially instituted. I use mostly Canadian
freenets as examples: Montreal, and Hamilton have fees and differential
service levels. Not sure that is right approach though. I argue for 
better service levels  (PPP) and hope that will induce people to 
donate more and thus keep Freenets free.

>> They provide complementary services in most places, and are not real 
>> competitors. CNs use slower modems, since rack mounts are expensive
>> this is unlikely to change soon. Commercial services thrive on business
>> customers for whom time is money, hence willingness to pay for speed.
>> Learning and training that CN's provide, mostly for free, serves 
>> to feed the commercial ISP's. They should support freenets, its in their
>> interest to do so.
>
>Different viewpoints of what's 2nd class & what's acceptable, I guess.  We
>have 28.8Kbps modems, and I will not be content offering slow speeds and
>busy signals as the "price" of a free account.  I'm all for fast, there
>when you need it access, and consider anything less second class.  Are you
>saying you'd rather have graphics, but over a 9600bps line that's usually
>busy?  What good is that?
>
>> I think of public libraries (Carnegie's contribution to the public) 
>> as places where poor and moderate income people have access to information
>> approaching access levels that the wealthy have. (Harvard aside) Many public
>> libraries far exceed what most private collections hold today.
>
>That's a useful but not 100% analogy.  A library is still more limited
>than a private collection: I can't keep the books forever, I can't get at
>them whenever I want.  Are similar restrictions on free PPP acceptable,
Yes limited but the variety is usually much better. Vanderbilt who built
this huge mansion (was watching A&E Biography on the Vanderbilts, Biltmore?)  
had only 20,000 books and your local public library typically has more than
that and interlibrary loan systems exist also in some places. 
Almost unlimited public access to internet could be implemented, the question
would be how much capacity is needed in typical load situation; perhaps
AT&T could answer that one and estimate the cost of doing so. Eventually
internet access could be as universal as the phone and perhaps just part of
of the local phone service.

>such as daily or per-session time limits (which are usually in effect for
>text accounts anyway, so I guess it's no big deal)?
>
>  -- Brad Whitlock
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