|Who owns NCF?
NCF is a not-for-profit organization owned and
controlled by its thousands of members. Anyone can become a member just by
registering. Membership is free.
NCF was started in 1992 by people at Carleton University.
|Who runs NCF?
Day-to-day operations are managed by an Executive
Director. Many roles in the organization are filled by volunteers. NCF's
members elect a board of directors (who serve as volunteers) at an annual
online meeting of members. The board of directors sets the general direction of
NCF and oversees the Executive Director who coordinates the efforts of staff
and the many volunteers.
|How much modem connect time do I get?
We don't have arbitrary limits. NCF's resources
are yours to use. We don't put limits on how long you can stay connected, how
much disk space your email or website can use, etc ... as long as there are
resources available for others to use as well.
For example, dial-up access is unlimited as long as there are
modems available for others; if all the modems become busy, NCF's modem sharing
system gives priority to people with less connect time that day.
|What kind of computer and
software do I need?
Recent operating system software and browsers are generally better
and easier to use than older software, but generally require a better computer.
So although it may seem backwards, people new to computers probably are best off with
the fairly current equipment and software, because it is easiest to use.
The best way to get started is to find a friend who can help. Once a computer
is set up, it's usually easy to use. A friend can help you overcome the set-up
phase. Volunteers at NCF can also help -- contact the NCF office.
Who pays for NCF?
NCF is almost free to run - an average
donation of only $5 per month from each modem user and $1 per month from each
email-only user covers NCF's cash needs. All NCF
members are asked to share the costs of NCF's operation by making a
contribution of volunteer time or a donation. Donations above what it costs to
cover usage help improve NCF and help those in our
community who are less able to contribute financially.
NCF is free of advertising. NCF supports free expression and
|Why is it so cheap?
NCF operates so inexpensively because much
of the work is done by volunteers. Volunteer opportunities include activities
such as helping new members get online.
NCF is also supported by organizations in the community, and many individuals,
who have contributed in the office, as board
members, helping people online, by writing software, how-to manuals, fund
raising, organizing speakers, computer swaps, talks at senior
centers, work with school children, helping with public access sites, and much
more. NCF also works with government agencies and non-governmental
organizations to help improve "internet literacy".
|Do I have to donate?
NCF relies on donations from its members. Volunteering
(eg., helping someone get started online) is a valued form of donation.
Assistance programs, such as NCF's
members-helping-members fund, assist people who cannot afford to donate.
|Will NCF pester me about
Once a year, we send email asking members to
confirm their continuing interest and to consider making a donation. NCF
members as a whole only need to cover NCF costs (NCF doesn't try to make a
We're all members; we don't want to "pester" each other.
We just need to pay the bills, as a group.
|Can I try it before I
||Please do. After you've tried it, you'll know more
about its value.
|Do I have to volunteer?
No, most people support NCF by monetary donations.
However, many people find volunteering to be gratifying and rewarding.
|What is the National Capital
Canada's National Capital region is centred upon the
cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. NCF considers its region to include eastern
Ontario and western Quebec.
|What is a
NCF is often called a 'community network' because
it is owned and controlled by people living in the region.
Many people enjoy having their email address and web pages
associated with a not-for-profit independent community organization
identified with the National Capital Region.
NCF acts as a public commons on the internet for the National
Capital Region, where people can freely interact with people in their community
and post their views in a personal web page or discussion groups.
NCF also works with government agencies and non-governmental
organizations to help improve 'internet literacy'.