National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

Graeme Beckett - Candidate


What skills will you contribute to the NCF Board?

So far I've been contributing as an NCF board member for 12 years! I've served on several committees and been a former President of the National Capital FreeNet.

In addition to acting as the current NCF board secretary, along with fellow Connectivity Strategy Committee Board members and our Executive Director I've been volunteering behind the scenes to investigate the CRTC's Capacity Based Billing ruling and looking into new service offerings and ways to help keep costs in check. Offering reliable and affordable and up to date internet access is key to the NCF and key to the NCF's growth. As we obtain greater economies of scale we drive down our base costs and as a non-profit those reduced costs are passed on to our membership, not shareholders. Dedicated volunteers also play a big part in the success of our organization, helping out in the NCF office, online and in the community.

What are the most important functions of the NCF for its members?

That the National Capital FreeNet provide a reliable community based means to access the Internet and email. Having a friendly local office should you feel the need to drop by for support, such as being able to pick up a loaner modem. Being a non-profit the NCF can keep our costs low and thus our members help out other members and community based groups who would be unable to afford Internet service elsewhere.

Why do you want to be an NCF director?

I'd like to enable more members still using dial up to switch to an affordable albeit somewhat slower high speed DSL service than the current service which is now up to 6Mbps but priced out of reach for many. My goal for dial-up users is to lower the price barrier that prevents those on dial up from being able to participate more fully and utilize more services that the Internet provides. For those unable to switch to high speed our modem pools will remain an affordable donation based service.

Our current high speed DSL service that provides speeds up to 5Mbps has recently risen to a maximum of 6Mbps. I expect this to remain our most popular service and a great value with a generous download capacity.

For those yearning for higher speeds than our current maximum 6mbps service, a goal this year is to meet those needs and also balance that with an appropriate download capacity.

At a time when Internet Service Providers are rapidly raising prices due to the CRTC ruling on Capacity Based Billing you'll see that the NCF community is able to effectively pool our resources, offer local support and provide appropriate services of great value that meet our needs and requirements.

During my time on the NCF board we've made huge strides in improvements to our services. When I first joined the NCF board only dial up service was available and busy signals and disconnects were the norm. The NCF only had 14k dial up when all the other internet service providers were offering 56k! Today we offer very reliable high speed services and for those still unable to access high speed, a reliable busy free 56k dial up service. It's time to offer more choice to members and also offer a modest high speed service at a modest price point for those currently excluded. Extending office support will also be of great value to the members.

Graeme Beckett (aw958)