In my opinion, the year 2007 demonstrated that the National Capital FreeNet continues to be an important contributor to our community and a key reason that Ottawa can boast of being Canada’s most connected city. If it’s not the most connected city, it seems clear to me that Ottawabest ensures that its citizens have access to today’s communication tools and the National Capital FreeNet is a enormous contributor to this achievement.
We were proud to work in partnership with the City of Ottawa to assist many of our neighbours who needed our help to get online and as we go forward, making sure that everyone can get online and doing this with rock-solid reliability will be a key element in our future. Many, in fact most members feel this way as evidenced by the number of people who when making a donation, ask that some of the money be directed to the NCF Access Assistance fund.
Similarly, we can all take pride in the importance that we place in NCF’s future. Again, the number of members who ask that a portion of their donation go to our Development fund is not only impressive, but a statement if both pride and forward thinking.
The way we treat our members has always set us apart from commercial providers and a large ingredient of this distinction is our help desk. Our personal and friendly approach has a significant impact on how our members feel about us and is a huge contributor to why NCF members encourage their friends, colleagues and family to join. “People helping people” has been a major reason for our ongoing success and the staff and volunteers in the office as well as online mentors are not just an advantage, but also an asset to be proud of.
Our organization is among more than 3,000 not-for-profit and charitable organizations in the City of Ottawa and we have a long history of helping these organizations do what they do even better. Our role has been to help them with their information and communication technology needs. My Board colleagues and I share a belief that this too has been a strong element behind our continued importance to the community. We intend to really explore this in the new year and feel that in determining the needs of these organizations, we will most assuredly uncover many new opportunities for FreeNet.
The tremendous growth we have seen in members choosing our high-speed DSL service this year is excellent evidence that we are offering connectivity services that are both useful and in keeping with our member’s needs and wants. It is important for us however, to continue to focus on our core strengths to ensure continuing sustainability and relevance.
Great services, friendly help and full participation in the community: These are the basics, but these fundamentals are what makes us strong and why we are still very much an important part of the fabric of Ottawa. Building on these strengths is basis of the plan going forward.