|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
NCF was started in 1992 by people at
|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
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
|What kind of computer and software do I
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
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.
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
NCF is free of advertising. NCF supports free
expression and unhindered communication.
|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
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
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 donating?
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 donate?
||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 region?
Canada's National Capital region is centred upon
the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. NCF considers its
region to include eastern Ontario and western
|What is a "community network"?
NCF is often called a 'community network' because
it is owned and controlled by people living in the
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
NCF also works with government agencies and
non-governmental organizations to help improve