National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

Treasurer's Report

For the year of 2013

Financially speaking it has been an extraordinary year for NCF. For the year ending December 31, 2013 National Capital Freenet is reporting a surplus of $213,790. There were a number of circumstances that contributed to these unusually positive results. The largest single factor was a substantial rebate that Bell Canada was required to pass onto internet providers like NCF. Not knowing exactly how the year would turn out due to all the uncertainty in the market around pricing and competition and the NCF dealing with the change in DSL providers, it was decided to put a hold on member pricing until the industry showed signs of stabilizing. There is still concern that there will be changes that will adversely affect NCF but for the first time in the recent history of the organization it has a reserve that should enable it to weather short term negative events. It is also best practice for a not for profit organization to have a reserve that is at least equal to fifty percent of its administration operating costs. With the current balance in net assets NCF now has that covered.

Last year it was projected in this report that with our investment in capital assets in 2012 our unrestricted net assets would grow, but it was not anticipated to be at this pace. The net assets have increased from $57,573 in 2012 to $271,383 as at December 31, 2013. The healthy surplus will allow NCF to have some breathing room to assess the future trends and align itself properly with the market. It will also allow NCF to better fulfill one of its main objectives which is to operate a community based computer network that is accessible to all, regardless of their financial situation.

With the positive results of growth comes the need to ensure there is sufficient support of members. In the past this has come mainly from the amazing contributions of our volunteers. We anticipate our volunteer base growing but at the same time our infrastructure will also have to grow to support the volunteer base. We will also need to increase our hardware infrastructure to keep pace with the increase in members being served.

In 2014 National Capital Freenet will face many challenges including balancing pricing with the demands of member's use of bandwidth, with increasing membership in DSL, and with managing the infrastructure to support all the changes. Each year I thank the dedicated members and volunteers for their time and effort and I would like to repeat that this year. I would also like to let them know how important their contributions have been in making NCF a viable organization that has not only been able to survive but also to adapt and grow in the face of never ending challenges and changes over more than twenty years.

Alan McRae
National Capital FreeNet