National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

Chair's Report

For the year of 2015

Since returning to the role of Chair in the spring of 2015, I have been excited by our progress and it is my sincere pleasure to report on the progress of NCF during the past year. I would like to offer special thanks to my predecessor Mike Kelly for his work.

I stepped into this role having previously been both Board Chair and Executive Director of NCF. The values of FreeNet have not changed in that time, but many other things about our work have. This makes for exciting times.

It's an honour to take the Chair role on again and work with my fellow Board members, staff, volunteers and NCF members to move forward with our work as one of Canada's only not-for-profit high speed Internet Service Providers.

This past year has seen many changes, including hiring a new Executive Director; embarking on a substantial conversation and study to evaluate our prices in order to keep NCF sustainable while also being able to adjust to changes in membership. The process requires a detailed analysis of the exponential bandwidth growth, increased use of dry lines; and the growth of member services, from longer office hours to skills-based workshops.

The Board has also been doing a lot of work to ensure that we operate based on best practices in both the technology and not-for-profit sectors.

I am happy to report that our membership continues to grow, and this remains a priority in 2016. I am also proud of the award that we received from Volunteer Ottawa in the Best Non-Profit Volunteer Program category, another area where we'd like to continue growth.

We also submitted NCF's first-ever submission to the CRTC, reflecting member concerns about ongoing access to high-quality, affordable internet for everyone in the region and across Canada. We look forward to doing more of this work, where relevant.

During the last year, we have made considerable investment in our bandwidth and capacity – the quality and reliability of our DSL connection is central to living up to our mandate. And as someone who relies on NCF for my internet at home, it is much appreciated.

Moving into 2016 I believe we are well positioned for further growth: in services, membership, and sustainability.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, the staff, the many volunteers and the thousands of people in Ottawa who make up the National Capital FreeNet community, I want to say thank you for your continuing commitment, your generous contributions and most of all, your ongoing participation.

And of course, I am always open to hearing ideas to make the organization even stronger. Please feel free to email me at

Thank you,

Chris Cope,
Chair, NCF Board of Directors