National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la capitale nationale Executive Director

Shelley Robinson,
Executive Director

NCF Office

Public hours: 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday
10am to 5pm, Saturday
Location: Map Suite 206 at 1305 Richmond Road, on the second floor above the small mall across from Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre.
Address: Suite 206 Richmond Square
1305 Richmond Road
Ottawa, Ontario K2B 7Y4
Contact info: Office staff: office@ncf.ca, 613-721-1773
Executive Director: shelley@ncf.ca, 613-721-1773 ext 1001

Discussion groups

Below are discussion groups hosted by NCF volunteers and staff.

Operations For discussion and questions about NCF's operation and policies (moderated by NCF Office people so that items are on-topic and helpful)
ED's Speakers' Corner The Executive Director's "Speakers' Corner" (as in Hyde Park in London) is a place to post thoughts and engage in discussion on any aspect of NCF's policies and direction. As in Hyde Park, the tone and quality of discussion is a responsibility of the participants. (There's also another Speakers' Corner discussion group, for any topic.)

Letters to NCF members

Periodically we email updates and information to NCF members. Here are recent letters, in reverse chronological order.

REMINDER: Final network upgrade Mon, Dec. 18th at 11:59pm - Tues, Dec. 19th at 9am (2017-Dec-17)

NCF members,

 

La version française suit.

 

In order to keep up with our growth in membership over the last year and the ongoing growth in usage, we are installing new equipment at our Data Centre and more than tripling our capacity. 

 

We are making these investments to ensure our members don't experience congestion during peak times and can use the internet to its fullest potential. As a not-for-profit this is part of our mandate: to ensure our services are high quality, as well as affordable. 

 

The final stage of the upgrade will start just after midnight on the night of Monday, December 18 until 9am Tuesday, December 19. We will keep you posted if this date changes. 

 

We don't expect there to be any outages. Some members may temporarily lose connection but should re-connect again immediately. That said, we faced unexpected issues before and may again. Given that we are doing this work overnight, we expect this to limit the effect on most members. 

 

During the work there will be no HelpDesk agents available on the phone between midnight and 8am on Tuesday, December 19 but we will be monitoring email, voicemail and social media during this time. 

 

As the work continues overnight we will also post general updates on social media every few hours, with the best information we have available at the time. We will do our best to update the voicemail with accurate information as well. 

 

Thanks for choosing NCF. We appreciate your support and patience as we finish this work to improve our network for all our members. 

 

If you're having service issues you can contact our HelpDesk by emailing support@ncf.ca or calling 613-721-1773 ext. 0 and leaving a voicemail or speaking with one of our HelpDesk Analysts.

 

NCF Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCapitalFreeNet/

NCF Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncfottawa

 

Take care, 

Shelley Robinson

 

Shelley Robinson
Executive Director/Directrice générale
National Capital FreeNet/Libertel de la Capitale nationale
206-1305, chemin Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
(613) 721-1773 ext./poste 1001

 

-------------------------

Chers membres du Libertel,

 

Afin de suivre la cadence de l'augmentation du nombre de membres au cours de la dernière année et de la croissance soutenue de l'utilisation du réseau, nous installons du nouveau matériel à notre centre de données. Notre capacité en sera plus que triplée. 

 

Nous effectuons ces investissements pour permettre à nos membres de profiter pleinement d'Internet, sans subir de ralentissements lors des périodes de pointe. D'ailleurs, notre mandat en tant qu'organisme sans but lucratif est de fournir des services de qualité supérieure à un coût abordable. 

 

La dernière étape de la mise à niveau commencera juste après minuit dans la nuit du lundi 18 décembre jusqu'à 9 h le mardi 19 décembre.

 

Nous ne nous attendons pas à ce qu'il y ait d'interruptions de services. Certains membres pourraient perdre leur connexion puis la voir se rétablir immédiatement. Cela dit, des problèmes se sont déjà présentés, et nous ne sommes pas à l'abri d'autres imprévus. Nous effectuons le travail pendant la nuit pour avoir le moins d'impact possible sur nos membres. 

 

Aucun agent du service d'assistance technique ne sera disponible pour répondre au téléphone de minuit à 8 h, le mardi 19 décembre. Nous surveillerons cependant les courriels, les messages vocaux et les médias sociaux au cours de cette période. 

 

Pendant l'exécution des travaux, nous publierons des mises à jour à quelques heures d'intervalle sur les médias sociaux. Nous fournirons les dernières informations disponibles. Nous nous emploierons aussi à enregistrer des mises à jour sur notre messagerie vocale. 

 

Merci d'avoir choisi le Libertel. Nous vous sommes reconnaissants de votre appui et de votre patience. Lorsque les travaux seront terminés, tous les membres profiteront d'un réseau amélioré.

 

Si vous avez des problèmes techniques, contactez le service d'assistance à l'adresse support@ncf.ca ou en composant le 613-721-1773, poste 0. Vous pouvez laisser un message ou discuter directement avec l'un des analystes du service d'assistance technique. 

 

NCF Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCapitalFreeNet/

NCF Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncfottawa

 

Au plaisir,

Shelley Robinson

 

Shelley Robinson
Executive Director/Directrice générale
National Capital FreeNet/Libertel de la Capitale nationale
206-1305, chemin Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
(613) 721-1773 ext./poste 1001

 

Third and final phase of network upgrade/Troisième et dernière phase de la mise à niveau de notre ré (2017-Dec-13)

NCF members,


I'm writing about the network upgrades we started last week. La version française suit.


In order to keep up with our growth in membership over the last year and the ongoing growth in usage, we are installing new equipment at our Data Centre and more than tripling our capacity.


We are making these investments to ensure our members don't experience congestion during peak times and can use the internet to its fullest potential. As a not-for-profit this is part of our mandate: to ensure our services are high quality, as well as affordable.


The work is happening in three stages. The first two stages were completed Wednesday and Thursday of last week. When we sent out the first message about this work on November 13th, we expected two brief windows of time each morning where some members would lose connection, reconnecting soon after.


Instead, we faced a number of problems. The first and most serious of these was that our supplier cut off one of our circuits a day early while we were doing prep work. This circuit connected more than 1000 members to the internet. Once they re-instated that circuit late Wednesday evening, we began the next day's work, only to face more delays.


Our apologies for all those affected by these outages and reduced connectivity. We believe we have solved most of the connectivity issues related to the upgrade, but please contact our HelpDesk if you continue to have issues.


Because of these issues, as well as your feedback, we have worked with our supplier to make the next upgrade overnight.


The final stage of the upgrade is currently booked to start just after midnight on the night of Monday, December 18 until 9am Tuesday, December 19. We will keep you posted if this date changes.


We will continue to post reminders about this work on the StartPage, our Twitter account and Facebook. If the date changes, we will send out another email to ensure as many people as possible see the message. We will also send out a message the day before the final upgrade as a reminder.


As before, we don't expect there to be any outages. Some members may temporarily lose connection but should re-connect again immediately. That said, we faced unexpected issues before and may again. Given that we are doing this work overnight, we expect this to limit the effect on most members.


During the work there will be no HelpDesk agents available on the phone between midnight and 8am on Tuesday, December 19 but we will be monitoring email, voicemail and social media during this time.


As the work continues overnight we will also post general updates on social media every few hours, with the best information we have available at the time. We will do our best to update the voicemail with accurate information as well.


Thanks for choosing NCF. We appreciate your support and patience as we finish this work to improve our network for all our members.


If you're having service issues you can contact our HelpDesk by emailing support@ncf.ca or calling 613-721-1773 ext. 0 and leaving a voicemail or speaking with one of our HelpDesk Analysts.


NCF Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCapitalFreeNet/

NCF Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncfottawa


Take care,

Shelley Robinson


Shelley Robinson
Executive Director/Directrice générale
National Capital FreeNet/Libertel de la Capitale nationale
206-1305, chemin Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
(613) 721-1773 ext./poste 1001


-------------------------

Chers membres du Libertel,


Je souhaite vous donner une mise à jour au sujet des améliorations au réseau que nous avons entreprises la semaine dernière.


Afin de suivre la cadence de l'augmentation du nombre de membres au cours de la dernière année et de la croissance soutenue de l'utilisation du réseau, nous installons du nouveau matériel à notre centre de données. Notre capacité en sera plus que triplée.


Nous effectuons ces investissements pour permettre à nos membres de profiter pleinement d'Internet, sans subir de ralentissements lors des périodes de pointe. D'ailleurs, notre mandat en tant qu'organisme sans but lucratif est de fournir des services de qualité supérieure à un coût abordable.


Le travail est réparti en trois phases. Les deux premières ont été menées à bien mercredi et jeudi de la semaine dernière. Le 13 novembre, nous avions envoyé un avis aux membres dans lequel nous indiquions qu'il y aurait de brèves interruptions de services pour certains membres au cours de la matinée ces deux journées. La connexion devait être rétablie rapidement.


La transition ne s'est pas faite sans anicroche. Le premier problème, et le plus sérieux, est survenu lorsque notre fournisseur a interrompu l'un des circuits une journée trop tôt. Nous étions encore à faire nos préparatifs. Le circuit a été rétabli à la fin de la soirée mercredi. Nous avons donc entrepris sans tarder la préparation de la mise à niveau du lendemain, mais nous avons ensuite subi d'autres retards.


Toutes nos excuses aux personnes touchées par des pannes et des pertes de connectivité. Nous pensons avoir résolu la plupart des problèmes de connectivité liés à la mise à niveau, mais contactez notre service d'assistance si vous continuez à rencontrer des problèmes.


À la lumière de ces difficultés et de vos commentaires, nous nous sommes entendus avec notre fournisseur pour que la dernière étape de la mise à niveau se fasse pendant la nuit.


La mise à niveau devrait se faire au cours de la nuit du 18 au 19 décembre. Elle commencera à minuit et se terminera à 9h, le matin du mardi 19 décembre. Nous vous informerons de tout changement au besoin.


Nous publierons des rappels sur notre page d'accueil, notre compte Twitter et notre page Facebook. En cas de changement de date, nous enverrons un autre courriel pour tenter de joindre le plus grand nombre de membres possible. Nous enverrons aussi un dernier rappel le jour précédant la mise à niveau.


Nous ne nous attendons pas à ce qu'il y ait d'interruptions de services. Certains membres pourraient perdre leur connexion puis la voir se rétablir immédiatement. Cela dit, des problèmes se sont déjà présentés, et nous ne sommes pas à l'abri d'autres imprévus. Nous effectuons le travail pendant la nuit pour avoir le moins d'impact possible sur nos membres.


Aucun agent du service d'assistance technique ne sera disponible pour répondre au téléphone de minuit à 8 h, le mardi 19 décembre. Nous surveillerons cependant les courriels, les messages vocaux et les médias sociaux au cours de cette période.


Pendant l'exécution des travaux, nous publierons des mises à jour à quelques heures d'intervalle sur les médias sociaux. Nous fournirons les dernières informations disponibles. Nous nous emploierons aussi à enregistrer des mises à jour sur notre messagerie vocale.


Merci d'avoir choisi le Libertel. Nous vous sommes reconnaissants de votre appui et de votre patience. Lorsque les travaux seront terminés, tous les membres profiteront d'un réseau amélioré.


Si vous avez des problèmes techniques, contactez le service d'assistance à l'adresse support@ncf.ca ou en composant le 613-721-1773, poste 0. Vous pouvez laisser un message ou discuter directement avec l'un des analystes du service d'assistance technique.


NCF Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCapitalFreeNet/

NCF Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncfottawa


Au plaisir,

Shelley Robinson


Shelley Robinson
Executive Director/Directrice générale
National Capital FreeNet/Libertel de la Capitale nationale
206-1305, chemin Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
(613) 721-1773 ext./poste 1001



Network upgrade update (2017-Dec-6)

NCF members,


Hope this finds you all well.


As previously mentioned, in order to keep up with new members and the ongoing growth in usage, we are installing additional equipment at our Data Centre and more than tripling our capacity. That's the good news!


The not-so-good news is that we hit a few snags today. One of those problems threw a number of members out of service for some or most of the day. Our apologies. This should now be fixed for everyone. The HelpDesk will follow-up on any outstanding tickets tomorrow.


Tomorrow morning from 9am until noon we are in the second phase of this network upgrade.


Some members may find themselves temporarily offline, but we expect they should automatically reconnect soon after. If you're having issues, it can sometimes help if you power cycle your modem/router by turning it off for 10 seconds and then back on.


As always, we will post updates on the NCF StartPage, as well as our social media accounts:


Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncfottawa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCapitalFreeNet/


Thank you for your continued patience as we work to make our internet services even stronger.


Shelley Robinson

Executive Director

National Capital FreeNet


P.S. If you're having service issues you can contact our HelpDesk by emailing support@ncf.ca or calling 613-721-1773 ext. 0 and leaving a voicemail or speaking with one of our HelpDesk Analysts.



Shelley Robinson
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet/Libertel de la Capital nationale
206-1305 Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
(613) 721-1773 ext. 1001

Network Growth and Service Interruptions (2017-Nov-13)

Network Growth and Service Interruptions

 

Hope this finds you all well. La traduction française suit.

 

Given both an increase in usage and in our total number of DSL members, we constantly invest in our network. This time we're jumping from two 1 GB routers to two 10 GB routers with full redundancy. We're geeking out about it!

 

This will ensure we can continue to provide high quality service with unlimited bandwidth.

 

The planned changes may cause brief service interruptions for a portion of our members.

 

Our plan is to execute the changes in November/December in time for the holidays and ready for the new year.

 

We are currently confirming the exact dates with our suppliers and will keep you posted once we know more.

 

Details will be posted on the NCF StartPage, available once you login, and on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

 

NCF Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncfottawa

 

NCF Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCapitalFreeNet/

 

NCF Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ncfottawa/

 

Thanks for being an NCF member,

Shelley

 

Shelley Robinson
Executive Director

National Capital FreeNet
206-1305 Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
(613) 721-1773 ext. 1001


P.S. If you're having service issues or have questions about your billing, please email support@ncf.ca to open a ticket or call 613-721-1773 ext. 0 to leave a voicemail or speak to one of our HelpDesk Analysts.

 

P.P.S. There's been lots going on! We'll be sending out a full newsletter at the end of this month.

 

Sorry if you have received this message in error.

 

Croissance du réseau et interruptions de services

 

J'espère que vous vous portez bien.

 

Le Libertel investit constamment dans son réseau pour suivre la croissance de l'utilisation des services et du nombre d'abonnés au service DSL. Nous nous apprêtons à remplacer deux routeurs de 1 Go par deux routeurs de 10 Go qui nous offriront une pleine redondance. Voilà qui fait battre nos c?urs de geek!

 

Nous pourrons ainsi continuer à offrir un service de qualité supérieure et une quantité de bande passante illimitée.

 

Lors de la mise en oeuvre de ces changements, certains membres pourraient connaître de brèves interruptions de service.

 

Nous prévoyons réaliser ce projet en novembre et en décembre, avant les Fêtes. Tout devrait être pleinement fonctionnel pour la nouvelle année.

 

Nous confirmons présentement le calendrier de travail avec les fournisseurs. Nous vous donnerons plus de détails sous peu.

 

Les renseignements seront affichés sur la page d'accueil du Libertel (celle à laquelle vous accédez après avoir ouvert une session), ainsi que sur Twitter, Facebook et Instagram.

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncfottawa

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCapitalFreeNet/

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ncfottawa/

 

Merci d'être membre du Libertel!

Shelley

 

Shelley Robinson
Directrice g
énérale
Libertel de la capitale nationale
206-1305 Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
(613) 721-1773 ext. 1001

 

P.-S. Si vous avez des problèmes techniques ou des questions liées à la facturation, envoyez un courriel à l'adresse support@ncf.ca pour ouvrir un billet. Vous pouvez également composer le 613-721-1773, poste 0, pour laisser un message ou parler au personnel du service d'assistance technique.

 

P.-P.-S. Les choses bougent chez nous! Nous vous enverrons un bulletin d'information plus détaillé d'ici la fin du mois.

 

Toutes mes excuses si vous avez reçu ce message par erreur.

 

NCF members: please join us for our book launch and 25th anniversary! (2017-Sep-19)


Hope this finds you well. 

I'd like to officially invite you to the launch of our anniversary book "aa000: 25 years of National Capital FreeNet". 

There are some amazing stories in our past and we'd like to share them with all our members. After all, we wouldn't be here without you!

Join us:
Jean Pigott Place
Ottawa City Hall
Thursday, September 28th
5-7pm

The launch is free, and there will be snacks and drinks, with musical accompaniment by local surf band The Reverb Syndicate. Register here: eventbrite.ca/e/freenets-25th-anniversary-and-book-launch-tickets-37803808208

Feel free to bring a guest or share this invitation: the more the merrier!

The book will be available for a recommended donation of $15. All donations go towards our Community Access Fund.

If you are interested in volunteering for the event (registering guests, handing out books, helping with set-up or tear-down or anything else) please let me know by emailing shelley@ncf.ca

Hope to see you next Thursday! Take care and thanks for being an NCF member,
Shelley

Note:

If you are experiencing a service issue, please do not reply to this message. You can contact the HelpDesk by emailing support@ncf.ca or calling 613-721-1773 ext. 0 and speaking to one of our staff or volunteers, or leaving a voicemail to open a ticket.

If you are no longer an NCF member and have received this message in error: you are still free to come! If you no longer wish to be on our mailing list, please reply to this email I will take you off. Sorry for any inconvenience. 


Shelley Robinson
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet/Libertel de la Capital nationale
206-1305 Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
(613) 721-1773 ext. 1001

NCF Newsletter part 2: Community Access Fund, Workshops, VOIP and ICYMI (2017-Apr-19)

NCF Newsletter part 2: Community Access Fund, Workshops, VOIP and ICYMI

Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend! As promised, here's the second part of the newsletter from last Thursday.

La version française suit l’anglais.

An archive of all past newsletters (including the one from last week) can be found here: www.ncf.ca/newsletter

1) Community Access Fund (CAF)

Thanks to all of you who wrote in earlier this year to support our new Community Access Fund and/or to suggest ways we could improve it moving forward. We're excited about the possibilities!

The first project of the Fund was a $25 + HST unlimited-use package for Ottawa Community Housing tenants. Since we launched on January 3rd we've had hundreds of phone calls and walk-ins and have signed up almost 100 new members!

We are also pleased to announce that moving forward, as part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, we will be waiving the dry line installation costs for all CAF members.

For anyone who missed the tweet or Facebook post, here's a link to the Ottawa Citizen story: ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/freenet-offers-public-housing-tenants-25-internet-plan

And here's a copy of the thank you letter we got from CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais: www.ncf.ca/ncf/execdir/CRTClet-NCFCAF-Jan17.pdf

2) Workshops!

By member request, and as part of our WiseNet grant, we will be offering some additional night-time workshops, now open to all NCF members regardless of their age. Space is limited to 20.

Register by emailing workshops@ncf.ca.

A full list of all our workshops is available here: www.ncf.ca/workshops

Tuesday, May 9th: Basics of computer and Internet Security
7:00-9:00pm NCF Office 1305 Richmond Rd. Suite 206
Al Richman, NCF HelpDesk
This workshop reviews current malware threats, how to protect your computer, how to create and manage strong passwords, Wi-Fi safety, setting-up secure Wi-Fi, safe browsing and email, and securing mobile devices. It's led by NCF HelpDesk volunteer and retired computer security specialist Al Richman.

Thursday, May11th: How to buy a PC
7:00-9:00pm NCF Office 1305 Richmond Rd. Suite 206
Chris Taylor, OPCUG
When buying a PC, you are faced with a lot of choices: laptop or desktop, dual or quad core processor, AMD or Intel, how big a hard drive, how big a monitor, is it better to buy a faster processor or more memory? Chris Taylor, President of the Ottawa PC Users' Group will help sort out the choices so you can buy the computer that is right for your needs.

Monday, May 22nd: Windows 10 – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
7:00-9:00pm NCF Office 1305 Richmond Rd. Suite 206
Chris Taylor, OPCUG
Windows 10 represents a considerable change from Windows 7 and an evolutionary refinement from Windows 8.1. Chris Taylor, President of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group, will talk about some of the important changes both visible and “under the hood”. If you find Windows 10 confusing, or just want to know more about what’s hidden, this session is for you.

We received federal funding for this work from Employment and Social Development Canada through the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The program is designed to help seniors make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities.

3) VOIP update

In December we asked members if you were interested in NCF offering a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calling service. And for those who were interested, we followed up with a survey.

More than 95 members responded!

As a result of the response we're working on the business case and beta trial and will keep you posted. Thanks for your feedback!

If you didn't already participate in the survey and want to, email voip@ncf.ca

4) ICYMI (In case you missed it): All unlimited and pricing changes

As of May 1st all NCF 350GBs internet packages will be unlimited usage for the same price!

In addition, as of May 1st we have dropped the monthly line price of the 10mbps speed plan to $30.95 + HST. And the monthly line price of the 50mbps speed plan has dropped to $49.95 + HST.

We are now able to price the 10mbps service lower than the 6mbps and 7mbps services because of a number of incentive offers from Bell combined with other internal business factors.

And we are always working to keep all our rates as low as possible while staying sustainable. That's why we've only increased our rates twice in 12 years and have now taken all our packages unlimited for the same price as 350GBs.

See an updated price chart here: www.ncf.ca/pricing

Any speed changes or moves trigger a Bell installation fee. We used to charge $49.95 + tax for this but have dropped that rate to $25.00 + HST to help celebrate our 25th anniversary.

For those of you on dry line, there is also a $19.95 + HST dry line installation charge.

5) ICYMI: AGM and Meet and Greet!

Our Annual General Meeting is NCF members' chance to read about the past year of activities and finances, elect new members to the Board, and approve any other special business or motions.

The website is up now: www.ncf.ca/agm2017

Voting is open Wednesday, April 26th to Wednesday, May 3rd.

We're also having an AGM Meet and Greet on Wednesday, April 26th from 6:00-8:00pm at the Colonel By Room in Ottawa City Hall. Hope to see you there!

6) Questions? Concerns? Service issue? Want to upgrade your plan?

For any HelpDesk questions, please email support@ncf.ca to open a ticket with our HelpDesk or call 613-721-1773 ext. 0 to speak with one of our staff or volunteers. If you leave a voicemail it is automatically captured by our system as a ticket and someone will call you back as soon as possible.

Thanks for being an NCF member!
Shelley

Shelley Robinson
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet/Libertel de la Capital nationale
206-1305 Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
HelpDesk: 613-721-1773 ext. 0
Direct line: (613) 721-1773 ext. 1001

Bulletin du Libertel de la Capitale nationale, partie 2 : Fonds d’accès communautaire, ateliers, voix sur IP et rappels importants

Nous espérons que votre longue fin de semaine a été agréable. Voici donc la deuxième partie du bulletin qui vous a été envoyé jeudi dernier.

Les bulletins, dont ceux de la semaine dernière, sont archivés à l’adresse www.ncf.ca/newsletter.

1) Fonds d’accès communautaire

Merci à tous ceux et celles qui nous ont écrit au début de l’année pour appuyer notre projet de Fonds d’accès communautaire et pour y proposer des améliorations. Nous voyons déjà de nombreuses possibilités!

La première initiative était le lancement d’un service illimité à 25 $ par mois (TVH en sus) pour les locataires de Logement communautaire d’Ottawa. Depuis le lancement de ce service le 3 janvier, nous avons reçu des centaines d’appels et de visites de membres potentiels. Jusqu’à présent, nous avons recruté près de 100 nouveaux membres!

Nous avons également le plaisir d’annoncer que, dans le cadre du 25e anniversaire du Libertel, nous offrons désormais l’installation gratuite d’une ligne sèche pour les membres qui participent à ce programme du Fonds d’accès communautaire.

Nous avons publié un gazouillis et un message sur Facebook à ce sujet. Voici également un article du Ottawa Citizen : http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/freenet-offers-public-housing-tenants-25-internet-plan (en anglais).

Et voici la lettre de remerciement qui nous a été envoyée par le président du CRTC, Jean-Pierre Blais : www.ncf.ca/ncf/execdir/CRTClet-NCFCAF-Jan17.pdf (en anglais).

2) Ateliers

À la demande des membres, nous sommes en mesure d’ajouter des ateliers en soirée dans le cadre de la subvention accordée par WiseNet. Les ateliers sont ouverts à tous les membres du Libertel, sans restriction liée à l’âge. Le nombre de participants est limité à 20 personnes.

Vous pouvez vous inscrire par courriel : workshops@ncf.ca.

Liste complète des ateliers : www.ncf.ca/workshops (en anglais)

Veuillez noter que les ateliers sont offerts en anglais.

Mardi 9 mai : Introduction à la sécurité informatique et sur Internet
De 19 h à 21 h au bureau du Libertel, 1305, chemin Richmond, bureau 206
Al Richman, service d’assistance technique du Libertel
Cet atelier porte sur les maliciels qui circulent en ligne; les façons de protéger votre ordinateur; la création et la gestion de mots de passe robustes; la sécurité des réseaux Wi-Fi; l’installation d’une connexion Wi-Fi sécurisée; l’utilisation sécuritaire des navigateurs Internet et du courriel; et la sécurité pour les appareils mobiles. L’atelier est présenté par Al Richman, spécialiste en sécurité informatique à la retraite et bénévole au service d’assistance technique du Libertel.

Jeudi 11 mai : Conseils pour l’achat d’un ordinateur
De 19 h à 21 h au bureau du Libertel, 1305, chemin Richmond, bureau 206
Chris Taylor, Ottawa PC Users’ Group (OPCUG)
L’achat d’un ordinateur est synonyme de nombreux choix… ordinateur de bureau ou ordinateur portable? Deux ou quatre processeurs? AMD ou Intel? Quelle capacité de disque rigide? Quelle taille d’écran? Vaut-il mieux investir dans un processeur rapide ou dans plus de mémoire? Chris Taylor, le président du Ottawa PC Users’ Group, vous aidera à mieux comprendre cet éventail de choix et à acheter l’ordinateur qui convient le mieux à vos besoins.

Lundi 22 mai : Windows 10 – du bon et du moins bon
De 19 h à 21 h au bureau du Libertel, 1305, chemin Richmond, bureau 206
Chris Taylor, OPCUG
Windows 10 constitue une transformation importante comparativement à Windows 7 et une évolution comparativement à Windows 8.1. Chris Taylor, le président du Ottawa PC Users’ Group, fera le point sur les changements importants, qu’ils soient visibles à première vue ou en arrière-scène. Si vous avez besoin d’aide pour comprendre Windows 10 ou si vous souhaitez en comprendre les rouages, cet atelier s’adresse à vous.

Emploi et Développement social Canada nous a accordé des fonds pour présenter ces ateliers dans le cadre du programme Nouveaux Horizons pour les aînés. L’objectif de ce programme est d’aider les aînés à jouer un rôle positif dans la vie des autres et dans leur collectivité.

3) Mise à jour sur le service de voix sur IP

En décembre, nous avons invité les membres à nous faire signe s’ils avaient un intérêt pour un service téléphonique de voix sur IP (VOIP). Nous avons envoyé un questionnaire aux membres qui ont répondu à l’appel.

Nous avons reçu plus de 95 réponses!

Nous travaillons donc au développement d’une justification et d’un essai technique. Nous vous tiendrons au fait de nos progrès. Merci de vos avis précieux!

Si vous souhaitez répondre à ce questionnaire mais n’avez pas eu l’occasion de le faire, envoyez un courriel à l’adresse voip@ncf.ca.

4) Rappel important : service désormais illimité et modifications au barème de prix

À compter du 1er mai 2017, tous les forfaits Internet du Libertel avec un plafond de 350 Go deviendront des forfaits à utilisation illimitée, et ce, sans aucune augmentation de prix!

Le 1er mai également, le prix de l’abonnement mensuel au service 10 Mbps sera abaissé à 30,95 $ (TVH en sus). Et l’abonnement au service 50 Mbps diminuera à 49,95 $ par mois (TVH en sus).

Nous pouvons désormais offrir le service à 10 Mbps à un prix inférieur à celui des services à 6 et 7 Mbps. Nous profitons de mesures incitatives de Bell et de mesures internes pour offrir ce service à meilleur prix.

Nous cherchons constamment à offrir les prix les plus bas possible, tout en assurant la pérennité du Libertel. C’est pour cela que nous avions augmenté nos tarifs deux fois seulement en 12 ans. Et c’est avec cet objectif en tête que nous avons remplacé les forfaits à 350 Go par un service illimité sans augmentation de prix.

La grille de prix à jour se trouve ici : www.ncf.ca/pricing.

Bell facture des frais d’installation en cas de modification à la vitesse d’un abonnement ou de déménagement. Ces frais étaient auparavant de 49,95 $ (TVH en sus), mais nous les avons réduits à 25 $ (TVH en sus) dans le cadre de notre 25e anniversaire.

Si vous utilisez une ligne sèche, prière de noter que les frais d’installation sont de 19,95 $ (TVH en sus).

5) Rappel : assemblée générale annuelle et rencontre sociale

Lors de l’assemblée générale annuelle, les membres du Libertel ont l’occasion de se renseigner sur les activités de l’année écoulée, de faire le point sur la situation financière de l’organisme, d’élire de nouveaux membres du conseil d’administration et de participer aux décisions entourant d’autres questions ou propositions.

Le site Web est en ligne : www.ncf.ca/agm2017 (en anglais).

Les membres peuvent voter du mercredi 26 avril au mercredi 3 mai.

Nous tiendrons aussi une rencontre sociale le mercredi 26 avril, de 18 h à 20 h, dans la salle Colonel By de l’hôtel de ville d’Ottawa. Nous espérons vous y voir nombreux!

6) Vous avez des questions ou des préoccupations? Vous avez un problème technique? Vous voulez obtenir un forfait amélioré?

Pour communiquer avec le service d’assistance technique, envoyez un courriel à l’adresse support@ncf.ca pour ouvrir un billet ou composez le 613-721-1773, poste 0, pour parler à un membre du personnel ou à un bénévole. Si vous laissez un message vocal, le système téléphonique le traite automatiquement comme un billet. Un représentant technique vous rappellera dans les plus brefs délais.

Merci d’être membre du Libertel de la Capitale nationale! Shelley

Shelley Robinson
Directrice générale
National Capital FreeNet/Libertel de la Capitale nationale
206-1305, chemin Richmond
Ottawa (Ontario)
K2B 7Y4
Service d’assistance technique : 613-721-1773, poste 0
Ligne directe : 613-721-1773, poste 1001

NCF newsletter: All unlimited, price drops, AGM, job posting and more! (2017-Apr-13)

NCF newsletter: All unlimited, price drops, AGM, job posting and more!

Hello!

La version française suit l'anglais.

 

Hope this finds you all well now that it looks like Spring has actually broken through Winter's grasp.

We have a number of exciting announcements since our last newsletter in December and thank all NCF members for your ongoing support.

In fact, we have so much to tell you that we're breaking this newsletter up into two parts! The second instalment will be sent out early next week.

All past newsletters are available on the website at: www.ncf.ca/newsletter

1) Price changes

Because of a change in our wholesale costs, as of May 1st, NCF will begin offering unlimited usage at no extra cost for all our 350GB plans.

This is part of our mission to keep things simple for our members. No special offers that expire when you're not looking. No contracts. And now, no worrying about potential overage charges.

You don't need to do anything to take advantage of this offer, it will happen automatically.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, in October of last year, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) set a new interim rate for wholesale capacity that dropped the cost we pay Bell for internet usage by more than 85 percent. It's one piece out of a number of costs, but the change made a big difference to NCF's ability to remain sustainable.

This also fits in with the CRTC's ruling that the internet is a basic service for all Canadians and that as the internet becomes ever more central to people's lives, all Internet Service Providers in Canada should offer an unlimited option.

So in the spirit of both of those decisions, starting May 1st, NCF plans will have unlimited usage for the price currently charged for 350GBs.

In addition, we are now able to drop the price of our unlimited 10mbps speed service to $30.95 + HST and our unlimited 50mbps speed service to $49.95 + HST!

All other prices will remain the same. This offer does not affect the capacity of our grandfathered 2mbps service with 15GBs of usage or our 1mbps service with 300GBs of usage.

If you want to switch to the 10mbps or 50mbps package for May 1st, please contact our HelpDesk at support@ncf.ca or call 613-721-1773 ext 0. If you are not able to speak to someone directly, leave a voicemail to open a ticket and someone will follow up with you.

2) Line installation and upgrade discount

In addition to most NCF packages going unlimited, because this is NCF's 25th anniversary we are celebrating by offering line installations and line upgrades for just $25.00 + HST. That's a 50% discount!

This does not include the $19.95 + HST dry line fee.

If you want to upgrade your speed, or have friends or family you want to encourage to sign-up for NCF's internet services, now is the time!

3) AGM

As a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization, every year NCF holds an Annual General Meeting (AGM).

This gives members the chance to read NCF's audit and activities report from 2016, elect any open positions on the Board, and vote on any proposed bylaw changes.

We are proud to have been one of the first organizations to hold our AGM online.

This year our AGM will run from Wednesday, April 26th until Wednesday, May 3rd.

We will be posting the AGM online soon, you can expect a follow-up message from the Board Secretary, Graeme Beckett.

Also, mark your calendars because for the second year in a row we are also inviting NCF members to join us for an AGM meet and greet! This year it is in the Colonel By Room in Ottawa City Hall on April 26th from 6:00-8:00pm. NCF Board members and some staff will be in attendance and we'd love to catch up in person!

4) HelpDesk Updates

Welcome to NCF's latest staff member, Yu-Hsuan (Vicky) Wang! Vicky joins the NCF HelpDesk team of staff and volunteers and we're so excited to have her. She comes to us with a Masters in Engineering from McGill and past experience in retail computing and fuel cell research and development.

Thanks to St. Lawrence College who is supporting a portion of Vicky's salary through their Ottawa Kickstart your Career program for recent graduates.

At the same time, we're also hiring a part-time HelpDesk Analyst! The position is for 7-11 hours per week, depending on the successful candidate's availability. It includes working Saturday 10am-5pm and up to four hours another day.

The job posting is here: www.ncf.ca/opportunities

The application deadline is: Friday, April 21st at midnight ET

5) Adding more capacity

Because of the continuous growth in usage we are adding an additional circuit later this month and more capacity. This is part of our commitment to offering a high quality service, while also keeping it as affordable as possible.

6) Shelley and André take on New Orleans!

Finally, we wanted to let you know what some of our staff have been up to recently.

NCF Executive Director Shelley Robinson and System and Network Administrator André Dalle were both in New Orleans last week for internet governance conferences.

André was selected to attend the 39th conference of the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) where they work out the policy implications of internet numbering, particularly the transition from the current IPv4 protocol to the newer IPv6 protocol for the US, Canada, parts of the Caribbean and Antarctica.

For those who understand the technology, you will be pleased to know that NCF has been allocated IPv6 space and is working towards deploying it.

For those who don't understand the technology, you should know that it is central to the way the internet works without changing much about the way you use the internet. And we are working on a way to pass along the details in an easy-to-understand way.

Congrats to André for being selected as one of only five representatives from across Canada and for being NCF's first-ever representative to ARIN!

At the same time, Shelley was at the North American Regional At-Large Organization (NARALO) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). So many acronyms! She was sent because of her work with the Internet Society Canada Chapter. Basically, we were there to represent “end users” (like NCF members) as part of a broader international process.

And since the ARIN and ICANN events were co-located, Shelley was also able to attend parts of the ARIN meetings with André. There was also time to fit in some jazz.

7) Conclusion

For those who you read this far, thank you! Please feel free to send your comments or suggestions (and to attend the AGM Meet and Greet, if you're able!)

If you are having a service problem, please email support@ncf.ca to open a ticket with our HelpDesk or call 613-721-1773 ext. 0 to speak with one of our staff or volunteers or leave a voicemail.

Thank you,

Shelley


Bonjour!

L’équipe du Libertel espère que vous vous portez bien et que vous profitez, comme nous, du retour du beau temps!

Depuis l’envoi de notre bulletin de décembre 2016, plusieurs nouveautés très intéressantes sont à souligner. Merci à tous les membres du Libertel de leur soutien indéfectible.

Attention! Nous allons publier le bulletin en deux parties. La première copie est disponible présentement. La deuxième partie sera envoyé au débût de la semaine prochaine.

Toutes les bulletins sont disponibles sur le site Web: www.ncf.ca/newsletter

1) Baisses de prix

Les coûts des services Internet de gros ont diminué, ce qui nous permet d’offrir à nos membres le service Internet avec une utilisation illimitée à compter du 1er mai, et ce, sans frais supplémentaires.

Nous voulons avant tout vous simplifier la vie. Il n’y a pas d’offres spéciales qui expirent sans préavis. Il n’y a aucun contrat. Et les frais d’utilisation excédentaire seront chose du passé.

Le changement se fera automatiquement. Vous n’avez rien à faire pour en profiter.

Comme le mentionnait le bulletin précédent, le Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes (CRTC) a fixé en octobre un nouveau tarif provisoire en fonction de l’utilisation de la capacité pour la bande passante. Cette décision a fait diminuer de plus de 85 % le tarif que nous payons à Bell pour l’utilisation des services Internet. Il s’agit d’un coût parmi d’autres, mais ce changement a néanmoins donné un sérieux coup de pouce au Libertel et à sa viabilité.

Par ailleurs, le CRTC a statué qu’Internet est un service de télécommunication de base qui joue un rôle de plus en plus grand dans la vie des Canadiens, et indiqué que tous les fournisseurs de services Internet devraient offrir une option d’utilisation illimitée.

C’est donc dans cette veine que le Libertel offrira à ses membres, dès le 1er mai, un accès Internet illimité au même prix que celui du service actuel plafonné à 350 Go.

De plus, nous sommes en mesure de réduire le prix du service illimité de 10 Mbps à 30,95 $ (TVH en sus) et nous sommes en mesure de réduire le prix du service illimité de 50 Mbps à 49,95 $ (TVH en sus)!

Les autres prix demeurent les mêmes. Le forfait à 2 Mbps avec limite d’utilisation de 15 Go ainsi que le forfait à 1 Mbps avec limite d’utilisation de 300 Go continueront à être offerts.

Si vous souhaitez vous abonner au forfait à 10 Mbps à compter du 1er mai, communiquez avec le service de dépannage à l’adresse support@ncf.ca ou au 613-721-1773, poste 0. Si aucun membre du personnel n’est disponible, laissez un message. Nous ouvrirons un billet et communiquerons avec vous.

2) Rabais pour l’installation et la mise à niveau des lignes

En plus d’offrir une utilisation illimitée pour la plupart de ses forfaits Internet, le Libertel souligne son 25e anniversaire en réduisant de 50 % les frais d’installation et de mise à niveau des lignes. Le nouveau tarif est de 25 $ seulement.

Les frais pour une ligne sèche sont de 19,95 $ (TVH en sus).

C’est l’occasion parfaite d’obtenir un service Internet plus rapide ou d’inviter des proches à s’abonner eux aussi au service Internet du Libertel!

3) Assemblée générale annuelle

Le Libertel est une société sans but lucratif de régime fédéral, et il tient donc une assemblée générale annuelle.

Les membres ont l’occasion de consulter le rapport de vérification et le rapport d’activités pour 2016, de voter pour pourvoir des postes au conseil d’administration et de voter à l’égard de modifications proposées aux règlements administratifs.

Nous sommes fiers d’être parmi les premiers organismes à tenir une assemblée en ligne.

Cette année, l’assemblée générale annuelle aura le mercredi 26 avril à le mercredi 3 mai.

Nous publierons des renseignements au sujet de l’assemblée sous peu. Vous recevrez un message à cet effet de la part du secrétaire du conseil, Graeme Beckett.

Nous tiendrons pour la deuxième fois une rencontre sociale à laquelle les membres sont conviés.

La rencontre aura lieu dans la salle Colonel By de l’hôtel de ville d’Ottawa, le 26 avril, de 18 h à 20 h. Réservez la date à votre agenda. Les membres du conseil d’administration et des membres du personnel seront sur place. Nous avons hâte de discuter avec vous!

4) Du nouveau au service de dépannage

Le Libertel souhaite la bienvenue à Yu-Hsuan (Vicky) Wang, qui se joint à l’équipe d’employés et de bénévoles du service de dépannage technique. Nous sommes enchantés de pouvoir compter sur elle! Elle est titulaire d’une maîtrise en génie de l’Université McGill et elle possède de l’expérience en informatique dans le secteur de la vente au détail ainsi qu’en recherche-développement entourant les piles à combustible.

Merci au Collège St. Lawrence, qui couvre une partie du salaire de Vicky dans le cadre de son programme « Ottawa Kickstart your Career », qui vient en aide aux nouveaux diplômés en début de carrière.

Nous recrutons également un ou une analyste pour prêter main-forte à l’équipe de dépannage. Il s’agit d’un poste de 7 à 11 heures par semaine, selon la disponibilité de la personne retenue. L’horaire comprend un quart de travail de 10 h à 17 h les samedis ainsi qu’un autre quart de travail d’un maximum de quatre heures un autre jour de la semaine.

L’offre d’emploi se trouve ici (en anglais) : www.ncf.ca/opportunities

Les candidatures doivent être reçues au plus tard à minuit (heure de l’Est), le vendredi 21 avril.

5) Capacité additionnelle

L’utilisation des services monte en flèche, et nous ajouterons donc un circuit avant la fin du mois pour rehausser la capacité du réseau. Nous sommes déterminés à offrir un service de qualité supérieure tout en gardant les prix les plus bas possible.

6) Shelley et André à la conquête de La Nouvelle-Orléans!

Enfin, nous vous donnons des nouvelles sur les activités récentes de notre équipe.

La directrice générale, Shelley Robinson, et l’administrateur de réseau André Dalle se sont rendus à La Nouvelle-Orléans la semaine dernière pour participer à des conférences sur la gouvernance d’Internet.

André était délégué au 39e congrès de l’American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), où les participants se sont penchés sur les politiques de numérotation d’Internet – en particulier la transition du protocole IPv4 actuel au nouveau protocole IPv6 aux États-Unis, au Canada, dans certaines régions des Caraïbes et en Antarctique.

Si vous comprenez les rouages de cette technologie, vous serez heureux d’apprendre qu’on a attribué de l’espace IPv6 au Libertel, et que nous travaillons à son déploiement.

Et si la technologie IPv6 ne vous dit rien, sachez qu’elle joue un rôle clé dans le fonctionnement d’Internet, sans toutefois transformer de fond en comble la manière dont il est utilisé. Nous préparons des renseignements faciles à comprendre à ce sujet pour mieux éclairer nos membres.

Bravo à André, qui a été retenu parmi les cinq représentants du Canada et qui est le tout premier délégué du Libertel à participer au congrès de l’ARIN!

De son côté, Shelley assistait à la rencontre de l’Organisation At-Large pour l’Amérique du Nord (NARALO) de la Société pour l’attribution des noms de domaine et des numéros sur Internet (ICANN). Quelle pluie d’acronymes! Shelley a été déléguée à cette conférence dans la foulée de son travail auprès de la section canadienne de l’Internet Society. Il s’agissait en fait de représenter les utilisateurs d’Internet (comme les membres du Libertel) dans le contexte d’une démarche internationale de grande envergure.

Étant donné que les activités de l’ARIN et de l’ICANN avaient lieu au même endroit, Shelley a accompagné André lors de certaines des rencontres de l’ARIN. Ils ont même eu le temps d’aller écouter un peu de musique jazz!

7) Mot de la fin

Merci d’avoir pris le temps de lire jusqu’à la fin! Nous sommes toujours heureux de recevoir vos commentaires et vos suggestions, et nous aimerions bien discuter avec vous lors de la rencontre sociale en marge de l’assemblée générale.

Si vous avez un problème technique, ouvrez un billet en envoyant un courriel à l’adresse support@ncf.ca. Vous pouvez également composer le 613-721-1773, poste 0, et parler à un employé ou un bénévole du service d’assistance technique ou laisser un message vocal.

Merci,

Shelley

NCF newsletter: CRTC updates, new program, possible VOIP, and happy holidays! (2016-Dec-21)

NCF newsletter: CRTC updates, new program, possible VOIP, and happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 21st 2016

Hope this finds you all well, and bundled up when necessary!

It's been almost three months since the last newsletter and things are hopping:

CRTC updates:

Later today, on Wednesday, December 21st at 4pm, the CRTC will release the results of its Basic Telecom Services hearing. It dealt with what "Canadians require to participate meaningfully in the digital economy and the Commission's role in ensuring the availability of affordable basic telecommunications services to all Canadians."

NCF wrote a submission, which you can read here.

We also appeared at the hearing, a transcript of which you can read here.

We're attending the official release of the decision and will be keeping on top of the implications.

There have also been some other developments at the CRTC lately, including an interim drop in some of the wholesale rates we pay for bandwidth. We're working to see what this means for NCF's sustainability and how we can continue to best serve you, our members.

Stay tuned!

Launch of Community Access Fund program:

We're excited to announce that as part of our mandate to promote affordable online access for everyone in the region, we are now offering a 6mbps internet plan with unlimited use for $25.00/month for all Ottawa Community Housing tenants.

The Community Access Fund plan also includes free line installation, and like all NCF services, no contract.

It is possible because of a recent gift from the estate of one of NCF's first members, plus ongoing donations from many of our other members.

Mayor Jim Watson said: "The City of Ottawa recognizes the importance of access to affordable internet for all residents, and I applaud the partnership between Ottawa Community Housing Corporation and National Capital FreeNet. This collaboration is essential in providing affordable internet access and bridging the digital divide for OCH tenants. They will now have easier access to online tools and be able to learn more skills, which in turn will build stronger communities all across Ottawa. Digital literacy is key in creating more opportunities for our residents, both now and for the future."

It will be available for people to sign-up on Tuesday, January 3rd ? just in time for us to start celebrating NCF's 25th anniversary!

And while we are starting with Ottawa Community Housing tenants, we hope to expand the offering to other low-income groups in the future.

For more details, go here.

Holiday hours:

Happy holidays from all the staff and volunteers at National Capital FreeNet! (To celebrate we recently had an office bake-off. The winner was "Prime Fudge" by long-time volunteer Adam Hunt — but all the sweets were delicious.)

As noted on the StartPage, holiday hours are:

Saturday, December 24th: 10am-noon
Monday, December 26th: closed
Tuesday, December 27th: closed
Wednesday, December 28th: 9am-4pm
Thursday, December 29th: 9am-4pm
Friday, December 30th: 9am-4pm
Saturday, December 31st: 10am-2pm
Monday, January 2nd: closed
Tuesday, January 3rd: back to regular hours, 8am-7pm

If you have a service issue during this time, please open a ticket by emailing support@ncf.ca or calling 613-721-1773 ext. 0 and leaving a voicemail.

WiseNet:

We've had great feedback on our ongoing series of basic computer and internet workshops for members who are 55 years old and above. And there's more to come, including "Basics of Computer and Internet Security", "Communications" and "Photography and your computer".

Limited spaces remain! You can register by emailing your request to workshops@ncf.ca.

Check out the full schedule here.

This work is funded by a New Horizons for Seniors Program grant from Economic and Social Development Canada.

Potential internet phone (VOIP) offering:

Many of our members have asked about dropping their landline service for a more affordable voice over internet protocol (VOIP) phone service, delivered over the internet.

We are currently looking into the details of NCF offering a VOIP phone service.

If you are currently an NCF DSL member who would be interested in also subscribing to an NCF VOIP service, please send an email to voip@ncf.ca and we will follow up in the new year with answers to your questions plus some questions of our own to help us determine the best possible options for NCF members.

Clean up and do good at the same time!

For those of you with new year's resolutions about de-cluttering: if you have an old DSL modem you're no longer using we would happily take it in, refurbish it and make it available at a lower cost to new members. We're also always looking for CAT 5 cables. (Thanks to the NCF member who already dropped off a bunch of them!)

NCF is also a registered e-waste depot for computer equipment that no longer works. When recycled, any personal information still on the machine is destroyed when the hard drive is destroyed.

Member Contact Information:

Just a reminder to keep us posted about any changes to your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and your mailing address.

You can check your contact details online by logging into the NCF start page and accessing the "Change Preferences" link in the "Your NCF Account" section in the lower right hand corner of the page. Or email the new information to support@ncf.ca.

Talk soon:

Thanks for reading! I'm looking forward to 2017, and a whole year building on and celebrating the good work that NCF first started 25 years ago. Time flies!

If you are having a service issue, please open a ticket by emailing support@ncf.ca or calling 613-721-1773 ext. 0 to leave a voicemail or talk to a HelpDesk Analyst. For any other comments about NCF and our services, feel free to email me at shelley@ncf.ca. (I'm away for the holidays, back December 28th.)

Take care and talk soon,

Shelley


Bulletin du Libertel de la Capitale nationale : Nouveautés au CRTC, nouveau programme, possibilit&ecaute; de service de voix sur IP… et Joyeuses Fêtes!

Le mercredi 21 décembre 2016

J'espère que vous vous portez bien et que vous restez bien au chaud!

Près de trois mois se sont écoulés depuis la publication de notre dernier bulletin, et je peux vous dire que ça bouge au Libertel!

Nouveautés au CRTC

À 16 h aujourd'hui, le mercredi 21 décembre 2016, le CRTC annoncera les résultats de sa consultation sur les services de télécommunication de base. Le Conseil examine « les services de télécommunication dont les Canadiens ont besoin pour participer de manière significative à l'économie numérique et le rôle du Conseil à s'assurer de la disponibilité de services de télécommunication de base abordables à tous les Canadiens ».

Le mémoire du Libertel se trouve ici : www.ncf.ca/ncf/communityaccess/ (en anglais)

Nous avons également comparu lors des audiences publiques. La transcription se trouve ici : www.crtc.gc.ca/fra/transcripts/2016/tt0425.htm

Nous serons présents lors de l'annonce des résultats de l'examen et nous ferons le point sur ses implications.

Le CRTC a pris d'autres décisions récemment, dont celle de réduire de manière provisoire les tarifs des services d'accès haute vitesse de gros que nous payons pour obtenir de la bande passante. Nous examinons ce que ce changement pourrait représenter pour renforcer le Libertel et son offre de services aux membres.

Restez à l'affût des changements à venir!

Lancement du Fonds d'accès communautaire

Le Libertel a pour mandat d'offrir un accès abordable à Internet pour l'ensemble des citoyens de la région. Nous avons le grand plaisir d'annoncer que les locataires de la Société de logement communautaire d'Ottawa peuvent désormais obtenir un service Internet illimité d'une vitesse de 6 Mbps au coût de 25 $ par mois.

Ce forfait comprend l'installation. Comme pour tous les autres services du Libertel, il n'y a aucun contrat.

Ce programme est rendu possible grâce à un legs de l'un des premiers membres du Libertel, ainsi qu'aux dons de nombreux autres membres.

À l'occasion de cette annonce, le maire Jim Watson a déclaré ce qui suit : « La Ville d'Ottawa est consciente de l'importance d'un accès abordable à Internet pour l'ensemble de la population, et je salue le partenariat entre la Société de logement communautaire d'Ottawa et le Libertel de la Capitale nationale. Cette collaboration permettra aux locataires des logements communautaires d'obtenir un service Internet abordable et contribuera à combler le fossé numérique. Ces résidants auront plus facilement accès aux services en ligne et pourront acquérir de nouvelles compétences, ce qui aura des retombées positives dans tous les secteurs de la ville. Les compétences numériques sont essentielles pour ouvrir de nouvelles possibilités à nos citoyens, aujourd'hui et demain. »

Les inscriptions seront acceptées à compter du mardi 3 janvier, ce qui donnera un excellent coup d'envoi aux célébrations du 25e anniversaire du Libertel!

Pour le moment, le service est offert seulement aux résidants de la Société de logement communautaire d'Ottawa, mais nous espérons en élargir la portée à d'autres groupes de personnes à faible revenu.

Renseignements supplémentaires : www.ncf.ca/ncf/communityaccess/NCF-CAF-Launch.jsp (en anglais)

Horaire des Fêtes

Le personnel et les bénévoles du Libertel de la Capitale nationale vous souhaitent de merveilleuses Fêtes! (Nous avons marqué cette occasion au bureau en tenant un concours de la meilleure gâterie sucrée. Adam Hunt, l'un de nos bénévoles de longue date, a remporté la couronne avec son « Prime Fudge », mais il faut dire que toutes les petites sucreries étaient délicieuses.)

Voici l'horaire des Fêtes, qui est également affiché sur la page d'accueil :

Samedi 24 décembre : de 10 h à 12 h
Lundi 26 décembre : Fermé
Mardi 27 décembre : Fermé
Mercredi 28 décembre : de 9 h à 16 h
Jeudi 29 décembre : de 9 h à 16 h
Vendredi 30 décembre : de 9 h à 16 h
Samedi 31 décembre : de 10 h à 14 h
Lundi 2 janvier : Fermé
Mardi 3 janvier : Retour à l'horaire régulier, de 8 h à 17 h

Si vous avez un problème technique au cours de cette période, ouvrez un billet en envoyant un courriel à l'adresse support@ncf.ca. Vous pouvez également composer le 613-721-1773, poste 0, et laisser un message vocal.

WiseNet

Nous avons reçu des commentaires très positifs au sujet de nos ateliers d'introduction à l'informatique et à Internet pour les 55 ans et plus. D'autres ateliers sont au programme sur des sujets comme l'ABC de la sécurité en informatique et sur Internet; les communications; et la photographie.

Le nombre de places est limité. L'inscription se fait par courriel à l'adresse workshops@ncf.ca.

Le calendrier est disponible en ligne : www.ncf.ca/ncf/workshops/ (en anglais)

Ce service est offert grâce à une subvention du programme Nouveaux Horizons pour les aînés d'Emploi et Développement social Canada.

Possibilité de service de voix sur IP

Plusieurs membres nous ont indiqué qu'ils souhaitaient éliminer leur téléphone traditionnel pour obtenir un service plus abordable de voix sur IP (VOIP) par Internet.

Le Libertel étudie donc la possibilité d'offrir un tel service.

Si vous êtes abonné au service DSL du Libertel et que vous aimeriez obtenir un éventuel service de VOIP, veuillez nous envoyer un courriel à l'adresse voip@ncf.ca. Nous ferons un suivi au début de 2017 pour répondre à vos questions. Nous vous poserons également quelques questions, de manière à mieux cerner les options que nous pourrions offrir à nos membres.

Faites du ménage et aidez les autres internautes!

L'une de vos résolutions pour 2017 est de faire un grand ménage? Si vous avez un modem DSL que vous n'utilisez plus, nous serons heureux de le remettre à neuf et de l'offrir à un prix abordable à nos nouveaux membres. Nous acceptons également les câbles de catégorie 5 (CAT 5). (Merci à l'un de nos membres de nous en avoir remis un grand nombre!)

Le Libertel est également un dépositaire inscrit pour le matériel informatique qui n'est plus fonctionnel. Toute information personnelle est effacée lors du processus de recyclage, puisque le disque rigide est détruit.

Vos coordonnées

N'oubliez pas de nous informer des changements à vos coordonnées (numéro de téléphone, courriel, adresse postale).

Vous pouvez consulter votre profil en ligne en ouvrant une session. Cliquez sur le lien Change Preferences dans la section « Your NCF Account » dans le coin inférieur droit de la page. Vous pouvez également nous envoyer vos nouvelles coordonnées par courriel : support@ncf.ca.

À la prochaine

Merci d'avoir lu ce bulletin! J'ai hâte à 2017, car nous continuerons à renforcer le Libertel et à souligner ses grandes réalisations depuis sa fondation il y a déjà 25 ans. Oui, le temps file!

Si vous avez un problème technique, ouvrez un billet en envoyant un courriel à l'adresse support@ncf.ca. Vous pouvez également composer le 613-721-1773, poste 0, et parler à un représentant du service d'assistance technique ou laisser un message vocal.

Si vous avez des commentaires au sujet du Libertel ou de ses services, veuillez communiquer avec moi à l'adresse shelley@ncf.ca. (Je serai en congé pendant les Fêtes, et de retour en poste le 28 décembre.)

À très bientôt,

Shelley

NCF birthday newsletter: grant, workshops, modems, e-waste recycling and more! (2016-Sep-27)

Hope this finds you all well and enjoying the crisper weather and changing leaves.

Things are also changing at NCF, even as we stay committed to the values we started with. Speaking of which:

1) Happy birthday to us!

National Capital FreeNet was incorporated on September 29, 1992 ? it's almost our 24th birthday! This means it's also the kick-off of our 25th year, a time for us to take stock of where we came from, and where we're going. We'll have cake in the office this Thursday, September 29th if you want to drop by. Thanks to all our members for your ongoing support!

2) $25,000 government grant!

We received federal funding from Employment and Social Development Canada through the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The program is designed to help seniors make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities.

The NCF WiseNet project has three main areas: offering basic computer and internet skills workshops to our members who are 55 years and older; recruiting and training folks with tech experience who are 55 years and older to volunteer on our award-winning HelpDesk; and offering opportunities for those who have retired from tech careers to network with their peers.

To find out more about volunteering with NCF, please email shelley@ncf.ca.

3) WiseNet basic computer/internet workshops

As mentioned above, we got a grant to help us offer computer/internet skills workshops for members who are 55+ years old. We are partnering with Pinecrest-Queensway Employment Centre on the second floor of the Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre to offer the following workshops. By member request, they are day-time sessions. Each workshop is repeated twice, in case you can't make the first one.

Register early, maximum 20 people per session. Email shelley@ncf.ca to register. All the workshops are offered by NCF HelpDesk volunteers. You will be able to practice the new skills hands-on. The focus is on PCs using Microsoft Windows and/or the Ubuntu Operating System, but we are keeping the content as universal as possible.

Computer Basics:

Thursday, October 6th from 10:30am-noon
Wednesday, October 19th from 2:00-3:30pm

This workshop includes content on the basics of your computer, from connecting your mouse and keyboard, to types of memory, installing a new program, creating short-cuts, to how to turn on your wi-fi, use a USB port and more!

Office suites/word processing:

Thursday, November 3rd from 10:30am-noon
Wednesday, November 16th from 2:00-3:30

This workshop includes the basics on different office suites (MS Office vs. LibreOffice), how to start a document, save it, and retrieve it. As well as different file types, and how to change font size, page alignment, numbering, margins etc.

Basic internet/web browsing:

Thursday, December 1st from 10:30am-noon
Wednesday, January 18th from 2:00-3:30pm

This workshop includes an overview of different browsers, bookmarking, how to optimize your search results, and some basics on safe web-surfing.

Basics of computer and internet security:

Thursday, February 2nd from 10:30am-noon
Wednesday, February 15th from 2:00-3:30pm

This workshop digs into malware, how to create strong passwords, how to set-up secure wi-fi, and anti-virus programs.

Email:

Thursday, March 2nd from 10:30am-noon
Wednesday, March 15th from 2:00-3:30pm

This workshop covers browser-based email vs using a mail client, IMAP vs POP, attaching documents and images, and a detailed exploration of spam/spoofing/phishing and how to avoid them.

Communications:

Thursday, April 6th from 10:30am-noon
Wednesday, April 19th from 2:00-3:30pm

This workshop includes an overview of Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone services, as well as Skype and similar programs.

Photography and your computer:

Thursday, May 4th from 10:30am-noon
Wednesday, May 17th from 2:00-3:30pm

This workshop will explore the forms of digital photography and images, how to get images off your camera (or phone), and how to send them, store them, retrieve them, share them and print them.

We are also working to offer more night-time workshops for all NCF members. Stay tuned!

4) Have a modem, give a modem? Need a modem? New price!

Do you have a second-hand DSL modem you're no longer using? If so, consider donating it to us! We re-furbish, re-configure and sell those modems for a greatly reduced price as part of our mandate to providing affordable access to the internet to everyone in the region.

Also, as of October 1st we are dropping the rate on SmartRG VDSL modems from $110 to $105 +HST. TP-Link 9970s VDSL modems are still on back-order, expected sometime in late October. They will be the same price as SmartRGs.

4) Recycle your e-waste safely with NCF!

The NCF office is now registered with Ontario's Electronic Resource Recovery Program through our work with Evolu-tic Outaouais. This means you can drop-off your old/broken computers, monitors, keyboards, mobile phones, and hard drives with confidence that all personal data will be destroyed while also helping keep trash out of the landfill!

All drop-offs must be done during NCF hours: Monday-Friday 8am-7pm, Saturday 10am-5pm.

5) Added capacity!

We are constantly upgrading our capacity and this past summer we took that a step further by adding another circuit to ensure that you continue to enjoy an affordable and high quality service. We will be undertaking some re-balancing and service this coming Thursday, September 29th. We take the utmost care with all technical upgrades, but you may experience some brief service disruption.

Thanks for reading! If you are having a service issue, please open a ticket by emailing support@ncf.ca or calling 613-721-1773 ext. 0 to leave a voicemail or talk to a HelpDesk Analyst. For any other comments about NCF and our services, feel free to email me at shelley@ncf.ca

Shelley Robinson

Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
1305 Richmond Rd. Suite 206
613-721-1773
shelley@ncf.ca

Pricing Adjustment Update (2016-Apr-8)

NCF DSL members,

Hope this finds you all well. La version française suit l'anglais.

Thank you for choosing National Capital FreeNet. As Canada's only not-for-profit high-speed Internet Service Provider, we make a difference by banding together.

This is a version of the same message I sent on Monday to DSL members, with an important addition that I have marked with ***asterisks*** (and a fix so that the charts show up in all email types!)

NCF will be making some adjustments to our DSL pricing as of May 1, 2016. You will notice the change in your next billing period that starts on or after May 1st. On balance, some members will end up paying a bit more, some a bit less.

***In addition, we are now offering all current and new NCF DSL members the chance to switch to or between our FTTN speeds for a one-time installation cost of $25, a 50% savings off the usual rate of $49.95. This offer is available from Monday, April 4th until Tuesday, May 31st. ***

The recommended donations for annual membership renewal and our non-DSL services, including our locally-hosted email, dial-up services, and webhosting, have not been changed.

And for members who use another provider for your high-speed internet: check us out!

NCF first offered high-speed DSL in 2005, starting with the 6mbps service. In the following 11 years, we have only increased the line price once, from $29.95 to $30.95, which reflected a jump in costs from our wholesale suppliers.

We have offered faster speeds through our Fibre to the Node (FTTN) services since 2013, and those prices have also remained constant.

In the last few years, we have experienced a dramatic growth in usage. This is a good thing: it means members are using the internet for a wide range of activities. But it comes with a corresponding increase in capacity costs.

Starting in January of this year, we also faced a net increase in line costs from our supplier. And many of our other costs are also increasing.

We're pleased we've been able to hold line costs stable for members for so long in the face of higher prices in every other area of life: from eggs to clothing to monthly utilities to housing.

We do everything we can to bring you great value and we will continue to make this effort. But in order to remain viable, we must pass on some of our increased costs to members.

Line costs

I have included a chart of current prices and the new rates as of May 1, 2016.

To accommodate higher capacity users, we are adding the option to get unlimited usage.

We are also increasing every member's basic usage up to 350 GB (up from 300 GiB or approximately 322 GB). We will continue to not count usage between 2am to noon.

And we will now offer a 10mbps speed line as an option. There are some members who can't get 15mbps speeds in their neighbourhood, but can get 10mbps. It's also ideal for those who need a line that's faster than 6mbps or 7mbps but don't need to jump all the way to 15mbps.

Speed (down/up)CURRENTAs of May 1/16As of May 1/16
322 GB usage350 GB usageUnlimited usage
6/0.8 mbps$30.95$32.95$39.95
7/1 mbps$30.95$32.95$39.95
10/1 mbpsn/a$33.95$43.95
15/1 mbps$34.95$37.95$47.95
15/10 mbps$36.95$39.95$49.95
25/10 mbps$39.95$44.95$56.95
50/10 mbps$49.95$54.95$67.95

To upgrade to unlimited usage after May 1st, please email support@ncf.ca or call our HelpDesk at 613-721-1773 ext. 0.

Overages in the 350 GBs plan will be charged $5.00 for each additional 25GB block to a maximum of four blocks, or $20 per month.

Dry line

We also note that almost half of NCF's membership is paying monthly dry line fees on top of their monthly line cost.

We have been passing along Bell's tiered cost for dry line. Starting on May 1st, we will offer a flat rate of $7.00/month + HST for dry line fees.

This is a savings from 25 cents up to $9.20 a month, depending on your current dry line band.

Dry line bandCURRENTAs of May 1/16
A$7.25$7.00
B$9.10$7.00
C$10.22$7.00
D$10.98$7.00
E$15.91$7.00
F$16.20$7.00

To find out what dry line band you're in now, login to the www.ncf.ca start page and click ?Your DSL Account? on the top left. Or you can email support@ncf.ca or call 613-721-1773 ext. 0.

Installation

We have been absorbing the installation costs of the 6mbps service since we first offered it, and after May 1st, will now begin charging installation costs on all lines to help recoup some of our installation costs. From April 4th until May 31st, the usual one-time rate of $49.95 will be discounted to $25 +HST.

Moving forward

Thank you for supporting community internet in the National Capital Region. We will continue to work to keep costs as low as possible, while offering high-quality DSL and additional community services like workshops, local email services, webhosting, dial-up, and advocacy work to help bridge the digital divide.

If these changes don't meet with your approval you may choose to cancel your service at any time. Though we?ll be sad to see you go!

To see a copy of this information on our website as well as some additional Frequently Asked Questions, please go to: https://www.ncf.ca/ncf/support/wiki/NCF_DSL_Rate_Changes

If you have questions about your service, please email support@ncf.ca or call 613-721-1773 ext.0.

If you have any other concerns, feel free to contact me at shelley@ncf.ca.

Talk soon,

Shelley

Shelley Robinson,

Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
206-1305 Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4

----------------------------

Bonjour aux abonnés du service DSL de Libertel de la Capitale nationale.

J?espère que vous vous portez bien.

Merci d?avoir choisi Libertel. Nous sommes le seul fournisseur de services Internet à haute vitesse au Canada dont les activités sont sans but lucratif. La collaboration est ce qui fait notre force.

J?ai envoyé une autre version de ce message lundi aux abonnés de notre service DSL. Veuillez noter un ajout important entouré ***d?astérisques***. J?ai aussi apporté des correctifs pour que l?on voie les tableaux dans tous les types de courriels.

Je tiens à vous informer de modifications aux tarifs de Libertel qui entreront en vigueur le 1er mai 2016. Les changements s?appliqueront à compter de la période de facturation commençant le 1er mai ou après. Certains membres paieront légèrement plus, et d?autres, légèrement moins.

***Par ailleurs, nous offrons à tous les abonnés actuels du service DSL, ainsi qu?aux nouveaux abonnés, la possibilité d?obtenir le service de fibre jusqu?au n?ud (ou de changer leur forfait de fibre jusqu?au n?ud) en payant des frais d?installation uniques de 25 $, soit la moitié du prix standard de 49,95 $. Cette offre est en vigueur du lundi 4 avril au mardi 31 mai.***

Nous n?avons pas augmenté le montant du don suggéré pour le renouvellement de l?adhésion annuelle et pour les services locaux autres que le DSL (courriel, Internet par ligne commutée, hébergement de sites Web).

J?invite aussi les membres qui utilisent un autre fournisseur pour leur service Internet à haute vitesse à jeter un bon coup d??il à nos forfaits!

En 2005, Libertel a commencé à offrir le service DSL à une vitesse de 6 Mbps. Onze années se sont écoulées et nous avons augmenté le prix une seule fois, soit de 29,95 $ à 30,95 $, afin de refléter l?augmentation du coût d?achat auprès de notre fournisseur de services de gros.

Depuis 2013, nous offrons un service plus rapide grâce au système de fibre jusqu?au n?ud. Le prix de ce service n?a également pas augmenté.

En 2005, Libertel a commencé à offrir le service DSL à une vitesse de 6 Mbps. Onze années se sont écoulées et nous avons augmenté le prix une seule fois, soit de 29,95 $ à 30,95 $, afin de refléter l?augmentation du coût d?achat auprès de notre fournisseur de services de gros.

Depuis 2013, nous offrons un service plus rapide grâce au système de fibre jusqu?au n?ud. Le prix de ce service n?a également pas augmenté.

Depuis quelques années, nous connaissons une énorme augmentation de l?utilisation de bande passante. Il s?agit d?une bonne nouvelle, puisque cela signifie que nos membres utilisent pleinement les ressources d?Internet. Mais cela se traduit par une augmentation de nos coûts.

En janvier 2016, notre fournisseur a augmenté le coût de nos lignes Internet. Nous subissons également des augmentations de coûts à plusieurs autres chapitres.

Nous sommes fiers d?avoir été en mesure de contrôler le coût du service Internet pour nos membres pendant plusieurs années, en dépit de l?inflation qui touche tous les aspects de notre vie ? des ?ufs aux vêtements, en passant par les services publics et les frais de logement.

Nous déployons de grands efforts pour vous offrir un rapport qualité-prix exceptionnel. Nous continuerons à le faire. Mais pour que Libertel demeure viable, nous devons augmenter certains tarifs.

Coût de la connexion

Je vous envoie un graphique indiquant les prix actuels et les prix qui entreront en vigueur le 1er mai 2016.

Nous offrons désormais l?option du service illimité, ce qui sera avantageux pour les clients qui utilisent beaucoup de bande passante.

Nous haussons également le seuil d?utilisation pour tous les membres à 350 Go. Le seuil était auparavant de 300 Gio, soit l?équivalent d?environ 322 Go. La période de 2 h à midi demeurera exclue du calcul de la bande passante utilisée.

De plus, vous pourrez désormais obtenir un service d?une vitesse de 10 Mbps. Il est disponible dans certains quartiers où le service 15 Mbps n?est pas offert. Il s?agit aussi d?une excellente option pour les usagers qui souhaitent naviguer plus rapidement qu?à 6 ou 7 Mbps, mais qui ne souhaitent pas faire le saut à 15 Mbps.

VitesseCOURANTMai 1/16Mai 1/16
322 GB350 GBIllimité
6/0.8 mbps$30.95$32.95$39.95
7/1 mbps$30.95$32.95$39.95
10/1 mbpsn/a$33.95$43.95
15/1 mbps$34.95$37.95$47.95
15/10 mbps$36.95$39.95$49.95
25/10 mbps$39.95$44.95$56.95
50/10 mbps$49.95$54.95$67.95

Pour obtenir le service illimité à compter du 1er mai, envoyez un courriel à l?adresse support@ncf.ca ou communiquez avec le service technique au 613-721-1773, poste 0.

Les frais d?utilisation excédentaire pour les abonnés au service 350 Go s?établiront à 5 $ par tranche supplémentaire de 25 Go. Le maximum sera fixé à quatre tranches supplémentaires, soit 20 $ par mois.

Ligne sèche

Près de la moitié des membres de Libertel paient des frais mensuels pour leur ligne sèche, en plus du coût de leur forfait.

Présentement, les abonnés paient le coût progressif fixé par Bell pour leur ligne sèche. À compter du 1er mai, un tarif unique de 7 $ par mois (en sus de la TVH) sera en vigueur pour toutes les lignes sèches.

Cela représente des économies variant entre 0,25 $ et 9,20 $ par mois, selon le type de service que vous recevez actuellement.

Line sècheCOURANTMai 1/16
A$7.25$7.00
B$9.10$7.00
C$10.22$7.00
D$10.98$7.00
E$15.91$7.00
F$16.20$7.00

Pour déterminer quel type de ligne sèche vous utilisez, ouvrez une session à partir de la page d?accueil www.ncf.ca et cliquez sur « Your DSL Account » dans le coin supérieur gauche de la page. Vous pouvez également envoyer un courriel à support@ncf.ca ou composer le 613-721-1773, poste 0.

Frais d?installation

Nous absorbons le coût d?installation du service 6 Mbps depuis les débuts. Des frais d?installation uniques de 49,95 $ seront désormais exigés pour toutes les lignes, afin de nous permettre de couvrir une partie des coûts.

À venir

Merci d?appuyer le service Internet communautaire dans la région de la capitale nationale. Nous continuerons à exercer un contrôle rigoureux des coûts, tout en offrant un service DSL de qualité et des services complémentaires, dont des ateliers, un service de courriel, l?hébergement de sites Web et un accès à Internet par ligne commutée. Nous poursuivrons également nos efforts en vue de combler le fossé numérique.

Si vous n?acceptez pas ces modifications, vous pouvez annuler votre service en tout temps. Toutefois, nous serions tristes que vous nous quittiez!

Vous pouvez obtenir ces renseignements sur notre site Web. Vous y trouverez également une foire aux questions plus détaillée : https://www.ncf.ca/ncf/support/wiki/NCF_DSL_Rate_Changes

Si vous avez des questions, veuillez envoyer un courriel à l?adresse support@ncf.ca ou composer le 613-721-1773, poste 0.

Enfin, si vous avez d?autres préoccupations, vous pouvez communiquer avec moi directement : shelley@ncf.ca.

Au plaisir,
Shelley

Shelley Robinson
Directrice Generale
Libertel de la Capitale Nationale
206-1305 Ch. Richmond
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4

(613) 721-1773 ext. 1001

NCF newsletter: AGM, workshops, spam, CRTC and more! (2016-Mar-31)

Hope this finds you all well.

Today is my one-year anniversary as Executive Director of National Capital FreeNet so it's a good time to write, with a little more experience and perspective under my belt and lots of plans for the coming year!

Thanks to all of you, whether DSL subscribers or those who take advantage of our other services. NCF is unique within Canada as a not-for-profit Internet Service Provider, and your support has kept us thriving for more than 23 years.

If you do not want to receive future newsletters from us, please email me at shelley@ncf.ca and I can remove you from the list.

If you are having service issues, please contact our HelpDesk at 613-721-1773 (press 0) or email support@ncf.ca to open a ticket.

1) AGM

This year's Annual General Meeting is from Wednesday, April 27th-Wednesday, May 4th. All NCF members are eligible to vote and we encourage you to do so!

The AGM includes annual reports on NCF operations, finances, and governance, and is your opportunity to vote for new and returning Board members.

In keeping with our role as an internet access organization, the AGM is held online. We will also be hosting an Open House for all NCF members to meet each other as well as prospective and current Board members on Wednesday, April 27th from 7pm-9pm at the NCF office (1305 Richmond Rd. Suite 206). We hope to see you there! RSVP to shelley@ncf.ca.

We will be posting the full AGM schedule and nomination details on the website soon.

And thanks to Brian Grainger (fp780) for agreeing to act as the Elections Returns Officer for this year's AGM.

2) Workshops

The month of workshops we offered in November was such a success we have decided to do more! All workshops are based at the NCF offices at 1305 Richmond Rd. Suite 206. And based on previous member feedback, we will be recording each workshop so those who can't attend can watch it online later.

Thursday, April 14th from 7pm-9pm
How to protect your computer
Chris Taylor, Ottawa PC Users Group

Back by popular demand! The average time it takes for an unprotected computer to be compromised after connecting to the Internet is under 15 minutes. Don't let it be yours. Chris Taylor, President of the Ottawa PC Users' Group will show you the simple steps you need to take to keep your computer from being hacked.

Thursday, May 12th from 7pm-9pm
Maximizing your wifi
Andrew Asare, NCF HelpDesk

We get lots of calls from members who think they're having trouble with their connection, when in fact the problem is with wireless congestion. Learn some basics to troubleshoot your own wifi set-up!

Space is limited so register by emailing shelley@ncf.ca.

More workshops are planned for the coming months - please let us know if you have any suggestions by dropping me a line at shelley@ncf.ca

3) Spam

There has been a recent increase in "spoofed" messages appearing to come from @ncf.ca addresses, usually including an attached file to download or a link to click. This is spam, and is not sent from NCF.

Always be cautious with messages containing requests for personal information, links, or attachments.

And if you're not already, consider using NCF's own spam filter, YellowMail: https://www.ncf.ca/ncf/home/spamfilter/

4) CRTC: Let's #TalkBroadband

The Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is embarking on a review of its policies related to Internet and has just today released a report about an initial survey of Canadians related to their internet use. Details here: http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/internet/internet.htm

Some highlights of the report include:

- Canadians' online activities have increased dramatically over the past five years.

- Emailing, reading news online, researching medical information, banking and interacting with government websites are Canadians' top five online activities.

- More than half of Canadians report using their home Internet connection more frequently than their mobile phone and home phone services. Also, they expect to still be using mostly their home Internet connection five years from now.

NCF submitted an intervention to the CRTC Call for Comments last summer (attached as a PDF) and will also be presenting at the upcoming hearing, which runs from April 11th-April 29th. (We're presenting on the morning of April 25th. The whole hearing is being broadcast live and online by CPAC if you want to watch!)

Please feel free to send me your comments (shelley@ncf.ca) and you can also send comments directly to the CRTC through an online discussion forum that will be open throughout the hearing.

5) Member Get a Member program

This is our way to encourage and thank existing members for recruiting new people to join NCF! If you have recruited someone to join NCF as a DSL subscriber, please email their name and your name and member ID to referrals@ncf.ca to participate.

There are gifts and prize draws as part of the program. But we're running behind schedule on implementation: updated schedule to come soon. Thanks for your patience.

6) ICYMI (In case you missed it):

- Our office hours are Monday-Friday 8am-7pm and Saturdays 10am-5pm.

- You can schedule appointments to configure your modem. Call or email support@ncf.ca to book.

- We now have a debit machine, in addition to accepting credit card payments, auto-debit, and cash.

- Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCapitalFreeNet/

- Follow us on Twitter: @ncfottawa

If you made it this far, thanks for reading to the end!

Talk soon,

Shelley Robinson

Workshops! (2015-Nov-5)

NCF Members,

Hope this finds you all well! This message is about our upcoming month of workshops with the Ottawa PC Users' Group, but I also wanted to mention:

1) New hours are operational! As of October 19th we are open Monday-Friday 8am-7pm and Saturdays 10am-5pm. Feel free to call or drop by.

2) Congratulations to all our HelpDesk volunteers! At the recent Volunteer Ottawa ?VOscars? held at City Hall, NCF was recognized in the ?Best Non-profit Volunteer Program? category. We're so proud of the work our volunteers contribute to the organization, it's at the heart of our mandate.

3) We're back on social media! Check out us on Twitter @ncfottawa (if you follow us, we'll follow you back!) or www.facebook.com/NationalCapitalFreeNet.

4) We have a growing number of members who are cancelling their landline service, relying exclusively on cellphones. If you decide to cancel your landline, please let us know at the same time so we can coordinate the installation of a dry-loop connection. Otherwise, you will lose internet access at the same time your phone line is disconnected.

5) And now: workshops! Thanks to the Ottawa PC Users' Group for offering this to our members, it's a huge opportunity. Thanks also to all of you who have already written to say you're interested.

All sessions will be held at the NCF offices at 1305 Richmond Rd. Suite 206, from 7pm-9pm. Please note we've had to push them back one week.

All of the sessions are free for NCF members, but we do need you to register, by sending me an email at shelley@ncf.ca with the specific sessions you're interested in attending. I will reply confirming if you've been registered or if the session is already full.

Thursday, November 12th
7pm-9pm
Protecting your computer

The average time it takes for an unprotected computer to be compromised after connecting to the Internet is under 15 minutes. Don't let it be yours. Chris Taylor, President of the Ottawa PC Users' Group will show you the simple steps you need to take to keep your computer from being hacked.

Thursday, November 19th
7pm-9pm
Email 101

In this presentation, Jeff Dubois, Program Coordinator of the Ottawa PC Users' Group, provides a basic understanding of the electronic mail structure and explores several considerations with the objective of maximizing your email experience. Considerations such as email flavour (POP vs IMAP), accessing email (webmail vs. mail clients) and multiple device access will be among some of the topics explored.

Thursday, November 26th
7pm-9pm
Clicking, Flicking and Tweeting: Social Networking Controversy

The explosion of social networking websites such as Flickr, Facebook, blogging sites and Twitter has raised more than privacy concerns. Join the discussion with Chris Taylor and Jeff Dubois from the Ottawa PC Users' Group. Jeff will describe the value of social media sites, while Chris will give the cautions about using these tools so that you don't compromise your computer, your job, your identity, or worse.

Thursday, December 3rd
7pm-9pm
How the internet works

Did you ever wonder how your computer communicates with servers on the Internet? Chris Taylor, President of the Ottawa PC Users' Group will explain in simple terms how computers find each other and connect so they can exchange information. As well, Chris will give some hints on how to trouble-shoot things when they don't work as they are supposed to. Note: This is a more technical than the other presentations.

Thanks, talk soon,
Shelley

Happy birthday to us! Also: new team member, expanded hours and community workshops! (2015-Sep-29)

NCF members,

Hope this finds you all well.

Tomorrow, Tuesday September 29th is National Capital FreeNet's official 23rd birthday! Lots has changed about the internet (and the world) since 1992, but we're still hewing to the core values we started with: providing high quality connectivity at an affordable price, leveraging the help of volunteers and providing forums for members to help members, and working in our community so that everyone who wants it, has access to the internet. Feel free to drop by the office for cake and conversation! (I'm sad to miss it, but I'm away this week.)

In other news, we would like to welcome Andrew Asare as our new full-time HelpDesk Analyst. Andrew has a Business Technology Management degree from Ryerson University in Toronto and has previously worked for the government in IT, Wind Mobile, and at a not-for-profit teaching computer literacy. Welcome Andrew!

At the same time, we've tweaked some of the roles within the office. HelpDesk Analyst James Ouzas is now in every weekday: Monday afternoons, and Tuesday-Friday 8am-noon. Naftali Shani is now our Training Coordinator (with a more formalized training program ready to go for anyone who is interested in volunteering!) Bill Robson is officially our DSL Service Manager, and Nathalie Dolbeck's new title is Billing Manager. But whatever our titles and roles, we're all happy to help!

On that note, to ensure better service with shorter wait times, we're now booking appointments for all modem configurations and any other computer support. If you wish to use this service, call us to arrange a time that works for you.

Also, starting on Monday, October 19th (election day!) we will be increasing our hours of operation from Monday to Friday 9am-4pm to Monday to Friday 8am-7pm and Saturdays 10am-5pm. We have heard from many members (and many prospective members) that this will make it easier for people who work during normal business hours and to get help when you most need it.

We're also partnering with the Ottawa PC Users Group to offer computer and internet skills workshops every Thursday in November from 7pm-9pm at the NCF office at 1305 Richmond Rd. More details to come or register by emailing me at shelley@ncf.ca.

Thursday, November 5th
How the internet works

Thursday, November 12th
Protecting your computer

Thursday, November 19th
Email 101

Thursday, November 26th
Clicking, Flicking and Tweeting: Social Networking Controversy

Finally, we're still taking names for the Member-get-a-Member rewards program (will link to detail page on website) and have extended the entry period for the draw for one year's free internet service to January 29, 2017. Email referrals@ncf.ca to enter or for more details!

Thanks, talk soon,
Shelley

P.S. We've got NCF buses circling the city with our message! If you see one, please take a picture and tweet it back to us at @ncfottawa

Member-get-a-member, new faces, we're hiring and expanded hours are on the way! (2015-Aug-13)

NCF members,

Nice to meet you! Thanks to Chris Cope for the introduction yesterday. In the roughly four months I've been at NCF, I'm already so impressed with the commitment shown by volunteers and staff on behalf of members, and members reciprocal commitment to each other and the NCF mandate.

For newer members, welcome: NCF is a local, not-for-profit alternative to commercial internet service providers. Since 1992 we have served more than 100,000 members. Thanks for being one of them!

We believe that everyone in Canada's National Capital Region should have access to the internet, meaning they can afford a high-quality connection, understand how to use it, and feel safe online. We offer DSL, dial-up, free local email, basic web hosting, a volunteer-driven Help Desk so our members can ask questions about a range of internet and computer-related issues, and we connect members so they can share and improve their skills. People helping people, doing something good for themselves and their community.

Unfortunately, like everywhere else, our costs are rising. But the more members we have, the more we can share and grow these benefits, pooling costs and offering more value for less money. We'd like your help to make that happen.

The survey data we collect shows that many of our new DSL members already come as referrals from existing members. We appreciate that and want to recognize that support -- and spur on even more of it -- so we are launching a Member-get-a-member rewards program for referrals that result in new DSL members.

Every referral will count towards a rewards level with benefits ranging from thanks on the website, to NCF swag like mousepads, mugs and t-shirts, to increased mail quota or monthly usage to a plaque in the NCF office! Every referral will also enter the referrer and the referred member into a draw for prizes on September 29, 2015 (not so coincidentally NCF's 23rd birthday...) The prize is for one year free DSL service! For more details on the program, go here:

https://www.ncf.ca/ncf/home/membergetmember.jsp

Some other recent news includes welcoming summer student Amir Hariri to the HelpDesk, with us until August 31st, welcoming new part-time HelpDesk analyst Nader Hussain, with us for the next 12 weeks, and welcoming George, Kevin, Ryan, Edmundo, Haocheng, Chika and Jim as new HelpDesk volunteers: nice to have you on board!

Please note we also have two new job postings for a full-time HelpDesk analyst and full-time SysAdmin Support position - deadline Wednesday, August 26th. More details here:

https://www.ncf.ca/ncf/opportunities/

With the increased staff and volunteer support, come September we'll be announcing longer office hours on weekdays and also be open on Saturday: stay tuned!

There's so much good work underway and lots more to do. Please let us know if you have any particular suggestions: shelley@ncf.ca

Thanks, talk soon,

Shelley

Shelley Robinson
Executive Director

NCF new faces and introductions (2015-Aug-12)

Hello NCF members,

I hope this message finds you all well. There have been some changes at National Capital FreeNet in the last little while and I thought we'd use this opportunity to bring you up to speed and introduce ourselves.

Many of you will already know me from my previous roles at NCF. I am Chris Cope, recently re-elected Chair of the NCF Board of Directors. I currently work as an Economic Development Officer for the City of Ottawa and was Executive Director of NCF from 1997 to 2000 (that was the era of dial-up and the Smart Capital funding that brought us the current website, among other improvements.) I joined the Board in 2000 and was elected chair that year, a position I held until 2012. I am thrilled to be returning to the Chair's role.

I am also pleased to introduce our new(ish) Executive Director, Shelley Robinson who started at the end of March. Shelley comes to us with a strong not-for-profit background having served as Executive Director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA/ANREC) and several other positions in community media management. Those roles have taken her to Ottawa, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Halifax and Northern Ireland.

Shelley will be sending her own note out very soon with an update on what's happening at NCF and the launch of our new "Member-get-a-Member" plan! Please welcome Shelley to NCF with me.

I am really looking forward to helping usher in some important member-focused growth in the next little while, while staying true to our core values. Feel free to contact me at ccope@ncf.ca.

Sincerely,
Chris

New Canadian copyright laws (2015-Jan-26)

Dear Member:

On January 2, 2015 important new copyright rules came into force in Canada. These changes have imposed new legal and process requirements on all ISPs, including National Capital FreeNet, and have important implications for our members:

1. Unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material (e.g., movies, TV shows, music) can result in damages payable from $100 to $5,000 for non-commercial infringements.

2. ISPs must forward infringement claim notices received from copyright owners to the user of the IP address implicated in the download. Failure to do so can result in damages payable from $5,000 to $10,000.

Internet downloading activity (e.g., BitTorrent) is continuously monitored by copyright owners (such as movie studios) or their agents to detect copyright infringements.

When a suspected copyright infringement is detected, the copyright owner sends an infringement claim notification to the ISP that owns the IP address implicated in the download (e.g., NCF).

Under the new copyright laws, NCF is required to determine the owner of the account who used this IP address at the time of the alleged infringement and then forward the infringement notification on to the owner of the account.

We are also required to keep these notifications on file in case the copyright owner elects to prosecute at a later date. We do not disclose the identity or personal information of the member without a court order, however.

NCF cannot comment on the validity of any infringement claim as this can only be determined by a court of law.

If you receive a notice and require further clarification, you may wish to contact the copyright owner as indicated in the notice. Please be aware, however, that doing so will reveal your identity.

If you suspect that unauthorized persons have used your wi-fi network to download copyrighted material, you should change your wi-fi password.

Details of the new laws can be found at http://balancedcopyright.gc.ca/eic/site/crp-prda.nsf/eng/h_rp01157.html.

Sincerely,
Nick Ouzas,
Executive Director

World Cup Fever is here! (2014-Jun-16)

World Cup Special Offer!

Get a friend to sign up with NCF and get a $25 credit on your account! Offer valid from June 13 - July 14.

World Cup Fever Is Here!

NCF will be streaming World Cup matches live on our big screen in the office at 1305 Richmond Rd. Come on down, meet the staff, have some popcorn and enjoy the greatest tournament in sport!

All matches start at 12:00 PM:

Friday, June 13 Mexico vs Cameroon
Monday, June 16 Germany vs Portugal
Tuesday, June 17 Belgium vs Algeria
Wednesday, June 18 Australia vs Netherlands
Thursday, June 19 Colombia vs Ivory Coast
Friday, June 20 Italy vs Costa Rica
Monday, June 23 Australia vs Spain
Tuesday, June 24 Costa Rica vs England
Wednesday June 25 Nigeria vs Argentina
Thursday, June 26 USA vs Germany

Nick Ouzas
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet #206-1305 Richmond Road., Ottawa, ON K2B 7Y4 http://www.ncf.ca/

Welcoming back Nick Ouzas as Executive Director (2014-May-23)

In April Tony McNeill informed us that he was no longer able to continue as NCF Executive Director.

In addition to thanking Naftali Shani for his service above and beyond the call of duty during the transition period, on behalf of the NCF board of directors, I'm pleased to announce the return of Nick Ouzas to the Executive Director position. A veteran of several local high-tech companies, Nick has managed teams working with many different Internet technologies. He was Executive Director of NCF in 2013.

Please join me in welcoming Nick back to the NCF team.

Gary Eikenberry,
NCF President

NCF Executive Director Update Part II (2013-Dec-14)

Hello again.

In Part II, we will cover some information on our services, our network and ask for some opinions as to services that you think we should offer.

Network update:

Some of you have been experiencing reduced bandwidth in the evenings. We investigated and found that there was network congestion between the NCF network and the Bell Network at the aggregation point. We have implemented a solution we feel will correct the issue. We will continue to monitor it and make further adjustments as necessary. The fix was implemented on Thursday Dec 12.

Speed Up Your Computer Service

If your computer has slowed down or is acting oddly, we can help. We can fix the vast majority of software issues. However, if the issue is very complex then we may refer you to a computer store. Please note that we will not be performing any hardware repairs or replacement, except for the possible addition of computer memory where necessary. This is a software-only service.

We are launching this service immediately. It will run Wednesday mornings and again on Thursday afternoons. It is by appointment only. Please do not arrive with computer in hand without an appointment since we will only have to book a new time on a different day. Priority goes to the elderly and to shut-ins then to the remainder of members. To book a time, call us or send an email to office@ncf.ca.

Plan ahead as there are many members who would like to take advantage of this service. At this time, we can only manage about 4 computers per session but will be adding more capabilities after Christmas. The service is free but we will be asking for donations to cover the cost of additional ram or other items that we will need to carry. The suggested donation is $10-$20 per computer.

Higher DSL Speeds

We are still looking to launch the 15/10 and 25/10 service in January. The work on the servers to allow it to process the orders will take that amount of time to complete.

Is there any interest in having a 50/10 service? We will launch it as a service if there is sufficient interest. If you are interested in the 50 Mbps download / 10 Mbps upload service, send me an email.

Help Desk

We now have 27 time slots (a morning or an afternoon) filled with Help Desk volunteers. We are looking to add just few more and still have a list of 6 with whom we have yet to talk. We could still use a few volunteers for the reception desk in the afternoons. If you are interested, please send me an email.

The current item we are working on for our help desk is our phone system. We seem to have a few calls going to extensions that are no longer connected, which is resulting in some calls not getting through to us. There was also an issue whereby calls would go directly to an extension instead of the hunt group. The problem is that some desks are empty during certain parts of the day so the call is not answered and the voicemail does not go to the general mailbox. The result? The call is effectively 'lost'. We're working on a fix now.

National Capital FreeNet is a wonderful mix of people, cultures, religion and experiences. It is one amazing multi-cultural family of which we are extremely proud. Members come from all over the world, from every continent and from dozens of countries. Celebrations and religious observances occur throughout the year. Some have recently been observed and some are coming up within the next 4-6 weeks.

In the spirit of wishing everyone health and happiness, I'd like to offer these words at this time. We here the NCF office wish you all a Merry Christmas, Chag Chanukah Sameach (Happy Hanukkah), Happy Kwanzaa, Season's Greeting, and a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. We look forward to a fantastic 2014.

Tony

Executive Director Update for December - Part I (2013-Dec-14)

Hello fellow members,

The December Executive Director update will arrive in 2 separate emails. This first one is a brief update for some housekeeping items, while the second one will contain information on services, our network and ask for some opinions as to services that you think we should offer.

Our NCF birthday celebration will be taking place in early April and City Hall has been booked as the venue. Everything is in the early stages, and things may change, however we need to move quickly and would like to have some highlights of the past 20 years shown at the event. If you have any of the following information, or have other information you feel is relevant, then please send an email to ncf20@ncf.ca

1) Were you involved with, or have intimate knowledge of milestones or achievements?

2) We?d like to form a list of people who were once quite involved with NCF, and we?d like to try and contact them. Also, we?d like a list of people who have gone on to a significant position or status.

a. Two examples: 1 - we have been in touch with a person who once received help from NCF during a transition period and who has gone on to a significant position in a local post-secondary institution. 2 ? a former volunteer has gone on to be president of a company

3) Any old photographs or videos that were taken along the way.

4) Memories and recollections, funny or interesting stories, or memorabilia.

5) Other items you feel would be appropriate

In the spirit of giving, we have some particular needs between now and the end of January.

Volunteers with special skills required:

1) A digital marketing specialist volunteer to assist us with promotion of our birthday celebration. Areas of expertise would include social media, online presentation, social campaigns, online surveys, and online video. The current need is for someone from January until April. Much of it can be done at home. Please send an email to ncf20@ncf.ca and include a list of your skillsets.

2) Volunteers to work on the design of a special logo for our birthday celebration. We?d like to have a member be the one to create the logo for us. If you have those skills, contact us at ncf20@ncf.ca. The winner will be chosen from the submissions.

Donations of equipment:

3) Donation of DSL modems you no longer use. All DSL modems are welcome including the older SpeedTouch. We would like to verify their operation and redistribute them to members who are not in a position to purchase new modems. Many of the members using dial-up are finding it a little too slow for their use and would like to move to a lower speed entry level DSL service but are under financial constraints. You can drop them off at the office and we will do all the testing and reconfiguration.

4) Donation of recent models of computer, along with LCD monitors. The computers will need to have an Ethernet port on the back (8 wire square connector). We will thoroughly wipe the hard drive for you using RCMP approved tools to eliminate any personal data. The computers will be used in our office for our volunteers and we will refurbish the remainder for use by current dial-up members who are in need. Simply drop them off at our office.

Donations to those in need:

5) FreeNet has always been there to help our members. Our current effort is to help move some of the dial-up members who have financial constraints to an entry-level DSL service. This is focused on dial-up users who now have insufficient speed for their needs, such as banking or online skills upgrade. The NCF Assistance Fund is meant for just such a situation. If you would like to donate to the fund so we can help members, then simply look on the left hand side of the Start Page, near the bottom and click on Donations and Payments. Once the page opens, you?ll see a big blue Donation button at the top. Click on that button.

a. If you feel you are a person in need and require a move to higher speed but cannot afford it, then please send a mail directly to me. We will evaluate each case and help where we can. Confidentiality will be maintained.

Best Regards,

Tony

Executive Director Update (2013-Nov-29)

Hello National Capital FreeNet members,

These are exciting times at NCF! We are celebrating our 21st birthday and there are many accomplishments and achievements. Did you know we have had over 145,000 members since we started way back in 1992? We will be holding a celebration of 21 great years in February. Details will follow as we get closer to the date.

We are constantly improving services for our members and we would like to share some of the latest developments with you.

1. We launched our New Help Desk last week! The goal is to answer your calls and resolve your issues as quickly as possible. We are currently able to handle most of the call volume during business hours and are improving the coverage every day. There will be a few bumps along the way but our goal is to provide a quality Help Desk for you, our members. Call the main office number to reach us 613-721-1773.

a. If you?d like to volunteer for our help desk, send us a message at office@ncf.ca We could use a few more people for ½ days throughout the week. Full training is provided and it is a friendly, helpful environment.

2. Our Facebook Page has been resurrected! In addition to email, we plan to use Facebook for enhanced communication and announcements. Please ?LIKE? us on Facebook. As our number of ?Likes? increases, we receive increased ability to perform certain tasks, including advertising to raise awareness of FreeNet. We plan on using Facebook as one of our methods to celebrate our birthday, increase awareness and to grow membership. But we need your help, and the way to do that is to ?Like? us.

3. New connection speeds! Faster download and upload speeds are just around the corner. We hope to be able to offer the new services before the end of January. We are updating our servers and systems to be able to offer 15 Mbps download with 10 Mbps upload (15/10), and 25 Mbps download with 10 Mbps upload (25/10). What does that mean? Download is the transfer of data from the Internet to your computer, and upload is from your computer to the Internet. Faster download means faster response and less waiting. Why is a faster upload speed important? If you send pictures to Facebook or upload a photo album from your computer to a site like Photobucket for safekeeping, then the new services make it significantly faster. We will have the same service speeds as other providers in Ottawa-Gatineau, and at an inexpensive price.

There will be other updates happening over the next few months. More communication is our goal, but I?ll be sure to not flood your inbox.

Best Regards,

Tony

NCF office completes move to larger quarters (2013-Aug-23)

We are pleased to announce that NCF has completed the move to #206-1305 Richmond Rd. (near the Lincoln Heights Galleria) and that the new office is fully operational. Please note our new phone number: (613) 721-1773.

Map: http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/office/contacts.html

Regards,

Nick Ouzas
Interim Executive Director

NCF Volunteer Event Coordinator Needed (2013-Aug-16)

National Capital FreeNet relies on volunteers for many aspects of our operations. We are currently looking for a volunteer event coordinator to plan and execute a number of events in the coming months. If you have experience in setting up events (receptions, conferences, etc.) ideally in a business or government environment and are looking for ways to contribute to NCF and the community, please contact us.

Thank you,

Nick Ouzas
Interim Executive Director

Welcome to Nick Ouzas, NCF Executive Director (2013-Jun-25)

In early May, Executive Director Curtis Taylor informed us of his decision to leave NCF to pursue his career in the commercial hosting business.

On behalf of the NCF board of directors, I'm pleased to welcome our new Executive Director, Nick Ouzas. A veteran of several local high-tech companies, Nick has managed teams working with many different Internet technologies and, as president of the Ottawa Film Society, he also has extensive experience in the volunteer, non-profit environment.

We're grateful to Curtis for the improvements he made during his tenure and for volunteering his time during the search and transition. We wish him the best of luck in his new role. I would also like to thank the Executive Director Search Committee for their efforts on behalf of all NCF members.

We welcome Nick to the NCF team as NCF approaches its 20th anniversary as the National Capital region's not-for-profit alternative to commercial Internet providers.

Gary Eikenberry,
NCF President

15 Mb/s DSL service now available at NCF (2013-Apr-22)

(Voir en bas pour le français)

Hello NCF members,

We're pleased to announce that 15 Mb/s high-speed DSL is now available from National Capital FreeNet, in addition to our 6 Mb/s service. Although 6 Mb/s is plenty fast for most internet activities, the 15 Mb/s service will be make downloads all that much faster and is good when a line is shared by several people.

Both the existing 6 Mb/s service and the new 15 Mb/s service include up to 300 GiB usage and have unlimited usage in mornings (2am to noon, every day of the week) (a GiB is 7% more than a GB).

And it's now possible for community organizations to sign up for NCF's DSL directly, using the sign-up web page.

Members already connected with NCF's DSL don't need to do anything relating to these improvements. Members with 6 Mb/s service wishing to learn more and maybe switch to 15 Mb/s service should log into NCF's StartPage (at http://start.ncf.ca) and click on the link in the StartPage announcement.

Members wishing to sign up for DSL, or who have friends wanting NCF's DSL, should go to the DSL sign-up page at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/registration/dsl for information.

As you know, NCF is people in the National Capital region getting together to share costs, doing something good for themselves and our region. NCF is a not-for-profit organization, controlled by you, its members.

You can help NCF by telling your friends about the services NCF offers; the more people involved at NCF, the more we can do, such as lower prices or improve services.

Thank you for being part of NCF and helping to make Ottawa a better place. Special thanks to the volunteers at the NCF office who help people get connected.

Cheers,
Curtis Taylor
Executive Director


Bonjour membres Libertel,

Nous sommes heureux d'annoncer que le service DSL haute vitesse 15 Mb/s est maintenant disponible chez Libertel dans la capitale nationale, en plus de notre service 6 Mb/s. Même si le service 6 MB/s est très rapide pour la plupart des activités Internet, le service 15 Mb/s fera en sorte que les téléchargements soient plus rapide. Ceci est très utile lorsqu'une ligne est partagée entre plusieurs personnes.

Les deux services incluent jusqu'à 300 GiB de capacité d'usage et un service illimité en période matinale (2 h am à midi, chaque jour de la semaine) (un GiB représente 7 % de plus qu'un GB).

Il est aussi maintenant possible pour les organismes communautaires de s'inscrire directement au service DSL de Libertel, en utilisant la page Web.

Les membres déjà branchés au service DSL de Libertel n'ont pas besoin de faire quoi que ce soit concernant ces améliorations. Les membres du service 6 Mb/s qui désirent en savoir plus et, peut-être aller vers le service 15 Mb/s, peuvent aller sur la page de démarrage Libertel (http://start.ncf.ca) et cliquer sur le lien de la page de démarrage d'annonce.

Les membres qui désirent s'inscrire à DSL ou qui ont des amis désirant DSL de Libertel devraient s'inscrire sur la page DSL au http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/registration/dsl pour plus d'informations.

Comme vous le savez, NCF c'est le rassemblement de gens de la région de la capitale nationale pour partager les coûts, s'entraider et aider la région. NCF est un organisme sans but lucratif, appartenant à vous, les membres.

Vous pouvez aider Libertel en parlant des services à vos amis; plus il y a de monde impliqué avec Libertel et plus nous pouvons offrir des services, comme d'avoir les plus bas prix ou améliorer des services.

Merci de faire partie de Libertel et d'aider à faire d'Ottawa un meilleur endroit. Un merci particulier aux bénévoles qui sont au bureau Libertel qui aide les gens à se brancher.

Merci,
Curtis Taylor
Directeur Exécutif

NCF has a new Executive Director, Curtis Taylor (2012-Oct-12)

(Voir en bas pour le français)

Hello NCF members,

On behalf of the NCF board of directors, I'm pleased to welcome our new Executive Director, Curtis Taylor, who starts this week.

I would also like to thank the board's Executive Director Search Committee for their work on behalf of all NCF members. The results of over 30 person-days of voluntary work by the committee were presented to the full board for review and approval to hire. The committee is also involved in assisting with the transition. It's a lot of unpaid work and responsibility, and we're thankful.

Thanks are also due to Ross Kouhi, outgoing Executive Director, who is generously volunteering some half-days to ease the transition. During his regrettably short tenure as Executive Director, Ross steered NCF through a challenging change in how DSL is provided to members, resulting in better control of quality and service.

Our new Executive Director, Curtis Taylor, comes to us with approximately 20 years of experience designing, building and operating internet-related services and businesses. An early NCF member, having joined NCF in 1993, Curtis is attracted to NCF by the opportunity to make use of his considerable relevant experience to the benefit of NCF members, helping to make Ottawa a better place, and to gain experience as head of a community organization.

After finishing his degree, Curtis taught at University of Ottawa, but soon was attracted by the possibilities of the internet. He turned his full attention to the emerging internet service provider business in the mid-1990's, working for small companies in the Ottawa region, including one of the region's first commercial ISPs, Synapse Internet. A few years later he joined Magma Communications to help build and manage Magma's server infrastructure. As Magma grew, Curtis had management responsibility for all server-related design and operations, including assisting with the growth of Magma's managed services business.

When Magma was purchased by Primus in 2004, Curtis continued to grow and evolve hosting and managed services teams, technical infrastructure, customer base and product offerings. He also worked to foster a business culture built around the highest levels of customer service. In 2008, Curtis left Primus to satisfy his entrepreneurial spirit by pursuing independent consulting focusing on the design and implementation of product/services and technical infrastructure solutions for small and medium sized companies.

We welcome Curtis to the NCF team as NCF approaches its 20th anniversary as the National Capital region's not-for-profit alternative to commercial internet providers. If you're in the neighbourhood of the NCF office, please don't hesitate to drop in to say 'welcome'!

Gary Eikenberry,
NCF President

----

Sujet: Libertel a un nouveau directeur exécutif, Curtis Taylor

Bonjour chers membres Libertel,

Au nom du conseil d'administration de Libertel, je suis heureux de souhaiter la bienvenue à notre nouveau directeur exécutif, Curtis Taylor, qui commence cette semaine.

J'aimerais aussi remercier le comité de recherche pour le directeur exécutif du conseil pour son travail au nom de tous les membres Libertel. Les résultats de plus de 30 jours-personnes de travail bénévole de la part du comité ont été présentés au conseil à des fins d'examen et d'approbation. Le comité participe également à la transition. Ceci représente beaucoup de travail bénévole et de responsabilité et nous en sommes reconnaissants.

Un grand merci aussi à Ross Kouhi, directeur exécutif sortant, qui a travaillé bénévolement plusieurs demi-journées pour faciliter la transition. Pendant sa courte période en tant que directeur exécutif, Ross a dirigé Libertel dans un changement important dans la façon dont DSL est fourni aux membres, faisant en sorte d'avoir un meilleur contrôle de la qualité et du service.

Notre nouveau directeur exécutif, Curtis Taylor, arrive avec près de 20 ans d'expérience en conception, en développement et en fonctionnement des services et d'affaires relatifs à Internet. Il est un membre Libertel de longue date, depuis 1993. Ce qui l'attire chez Libertel c'est qu'il peut mettre son expérience à contribution pour en faire profiter les membres Libertel, faire d'Ottawa un meilleur endroit et acquérir de l'expérience comme leader d'un organisme communautaire.

Une fois diplômé, Curtis a enseigné à l'Université d'Ottawa, mais fût rapidement attiré par le potentiel que représentait Internet. Il s'est donc concentré sur l'arrivée des fournisseurs de service Internet au milieu des années 90 en travaillant pour de petites compagnies dans la région d'Ottawa dont l'une des premières compagnies fournisseur de service Internet, Synapse Internet. Quelques années plus tard, il s'est joint à Magma Communciations pour aider à développer et gérer l'infrastructure du serveur de la compagnie. Puisque la compagnie Magma prenait de l'expansion, Curtis a occupé des responsabilités en gestion pour toute la conception et le fonctionnement relatif au serveur, incluant l'assistance pour les services d'affaires.

Lorsque Primus a acheté Magma en 2004, Curtis a continué d'évoluer et a dirigé et géré des équipes de services, des infrastructures techniques, les besoins de la clientèle et les produits offerts. Il a aussi travaillé à favoriser une culture d'affaires conçue autour des plus hauts niveaux de service à la clientèle. En 2008, Curtis a quitté Primus pour combler son esprit d'entreprenariat en agissant en tant que consultant autonome et se concentrer sur la conception et la mise en .uvre de produits, de services et des solutions d'infrastructure technique pour les petites et les moyennes entreprises.

Nous souhaitons la bienvenue à Curtis au sein de l'équipe Libertel. Libertel célèbrera d'ailleurs bientôt son 20ième anniversaire en tant qu'autre fournisseur commercial d'Internet à but non lucratif de la région de la capitale nationale. Si vous passez près du bureau Libertel, n'hésitez pas et venez dire bonjour à Curtis.

Gary Eikenberry,
Président Libertel

NCF update: Thank you, Ross (2012-Aug-15)

(Voir en bas pour le français)

Hello NCF members,

Last year, Ross Kouhi, our Executive Director, took a break from R&D consulting and entrepreneurial work to take his role at NCF to help improve NCF's financial position and prepare the organization for its third decade. Under his leadership, NCF has made significant advances; we now have better control of the quality of internet services we provide to members, and we've benefited from a major donation of network equipment by Cisco Systems. Ross has also built up NCF's volunteer team, providing opportunities for NCF members to contribute to the operation of our organization.

As a long time NCF member, from dial-up through to high-speed DSL, Ross feels that NCF is in good stable shape for the future, and looks forward to continued NCF participation.

In October, Ross will be leaving the role of Executive Director and returning to R&D consulting in Ottawa's technology community. A committee of the NCF Board of Directors is beginning the search for a new Executive Director (email to follow).

On behalf of the NCF Board of Directors, thank you Ross, for contributions to NCF, and helping to make Ottawa a better place.

Gary Eikenberry
President, National Capital FreeNet

----

Bonjour chers membres Libertel,

L'année passée, Ross Kouhi, notre directeur exécutif, a fais une pause de son travail de consultation et d'entrepreneuriat en R et D pour occuper les fonctions de directeur exécutif chez Libertel pour aider à améliorer la situation financière de Libertel et de préparer l'organisation à entreprendre sa troisième décennie. Sous sa direction, Libertel a fait des progrès importants; nous avons maintenant un meilleur contrôle de la qualité des services Internet que nous fournissons à nos membres et nous avons tiré profit d'un don important d'équipement de réseau de la compagnie Systèmes Cisco. Ross a également formé l'équipe de bénévoles de Libertel, permettant aux membres de contribuer aux opérations de notre organisation.

Étant un membre Libertel de longue date, passant de l'accès par ligne commutée à la technologie haute vitesse DSL, Ross affirme que Libertel est dans une situation stable pour l'avenir et prévoit continuer son apport à l'organisation.

En octobre, Ross quittera son rôle de directeur exécutif et retournera à son travail de consultant en R et D en technologie. Un comité du Conseil d'administration Libertel débute le processus de recherche d'un nouveau directeur exécutif (message à suivre).

Au nom du Conseil d'administration Libertel, je tiens à remercier Ross pour sa contribution chez Libertel et pour son aide à faire en sorte qu'Ottawa devienne un meilleur endroit.

Gary Eikenberry
Président, Libertel de la Capitale nationale

NCF's High-Speed Service Changes (2012-Jun-26)

Hello NCF Members with High-Speed DSL Service,

I want to update you on how we are doing with NCF's biggest change in 20 years.

Our transition is just wrapping up. We have left our friendly DSL reseller TSI who previously resold Bell's high-speed service to us. Now we work directly with Bell ourselves. Some members expressed concern that we were moving to Bell, but please note that we have always been with Bell, just through another reseller as the go-between.

The change-over was complex but has been completed with considerable success. Thankfully, many members report that it has been very smooth for them. We know that for a few of you there have been challenges and we apologize for any service problems you may have experienced.

Given the resources of our tiny non-profit organization, our small team of staff and volunteers have done a great job to keep us responsive during the transition, but know that sometimes it was hard to get through to us. I saw great great empathy and concern among all of our team to ensure that any disruptions in service were rectified as quickly as possible.

The movement of your data - the bits and bytes of Internet information - were successfully moved over to our own system at the end of May and it has been flowing well ever since. The re-entry of your member accounts within Bell's system to indicate "NCF" as service provider happened during the month of June.

There are a few unexpected outcomes from those account updates:

a) Some members have had a technician show up at their home unannounced. The account updates seem to have been interpreted by technicians as new installations occasionally. If you got a message saying your internet was installed, even though you've had it for ages, this is the reason.

b) A few members briefly lost their connections. For unknown reasons, service interruptions occurred due to processes in Bell's system which were not visible to us. We jumped on these problems immediately upon member reports to ensure they were cleaned up. Again, we apologize to those affected.

c) Some members saw their modems connections become unreliable. This was an issue where the new account had a line-speed-settings which were too aggressive for their connection. In such a case a modem can have trouble staying synchronized. We've been directing Bell do line-profile adjustments as necessary to fix those problems as members report them.

d) Finally, some members reported that their service has become much faster. This is because your area may have had upgrades, but only when we re-entered the account did those upgrades get applied. We were happy to see those changes!

I recognize that service hiccups during this process have been a challenge for those few who were affected. Losing your Internet service is a terrible inconvenience, and we are sorry if you were among the few that experienced that. We value your continued support as a member of our little non-profit. Our changes put us closer to your service so that problems can get resolved quicker, and our costs can be controlled to keep us viable for our third decade.

Our members tell us they chose us because we are community-based and non-profit, rather than selecting a commercial service. While that means we don't have a 24/7 call centre, it also means that we're real people in your community trying hard to provide a reliable service for you. We think that helps make the National Capital a better place for all to participate in the digital world.

Best Regards,

Ross Kouhi
Executive Director


Bonjour chers membres,

Je veux vous donner une mise à jour sur la progression du plus grand changement de Libertel en 20 ans.

Notre transition vient de se terminer. Nous venons de terminer notre « aventure » avec DSL « Teksavvy », qui nous vendait le service haute-vitesse Bell. Maintenant, nous travaillons directement avec Bell. Quelques membres ont exprimé leurs inquiétudes d'être avec Bell, mais noter que nous avons toujours été avec Bell, par l'intermédiaire d'un revendeur.

Le changement a été complexe, mais a été complété avec beaucoup de succès. Plusieurs membres ont signalé que le changement s'est fait sans problème pour eux. Cependant, nous savons que pour quelques-uns d'entre vous, il y a eu des défis et nous en sommes désolés.

Étant donné les ressources de notre minuscule organisme sans but lucratif, notre petite équipe de personnel et de bénévoles a fait du beau travail pour s'assurer que le service fonctionnait durant la transition. Nous savons cependant qu'il était parfois difficile pour vous de vous brancher. Je constate beaucoup de compréhension parmi les membres de mon équipe pour s'assurer que toute interruption du service était rétablie le plus rapidement possible.

Le transfert de vos données - les bits et les octets de renseignements Internet - ont été transférés avec succès dans notre propre équipement à la fin mai et tout fonctionne bien.

L'enregistrement de vos comptes de membre dans le système Bell indique que « Libertel » s'est fait durant le mois de juin.

Il y a quelques résultats non prévus sur les mises à jour des comptes :

a) Quelques membres ont reçu la visite non prévue d'un technique à la maison. Les mises à jour des comptes semblent avoir été interprétées par les techniciens comme de nouvelles installations. Si vous avez eu un message disant que votre Internet venait d'être installé, même si vous l'avez depuis longtemps, c'est l'explication.

b) Quelques membres ont brièvement perdu leurs connections. Pour des raisons inconnues, des travaux de Bell sur les comptes ont fait en sorte de créer des interruptions de service à cause de processus dans le système Bell qui nous ne pouvions voir. Nous avons répondu immédiatement à ce genre de problèmes dès que les membres nous en signalaient l'existence pour s'assurer que les problèmes étaient réparés. Nous nous excusons encore une fois auprès de tous les membres touchés.

c) Quelques membres ont vu leurs connections au modem ne pas fonctionner. Ceci était un problème ou le nouveau compte avait une communication haute vitesse qui était trop puissante pour ce que leurs connections à la maison pouvait supporter et les modems ont eu des problèmes à demeurer synchronisés. Nous avons fait des ajustements appropriés au profil de communication pour régler ces problèmes lorsque les membres les ont signalés.

d) Finalement, quelques membres ont signalé que leur service est devenu beaucoup plus rapide. Ceci s'est produit car votre secteur a eu des mises à niveau et ces mises à niveau se sont effectuées en reconfigurant les renseignements du compte. Nous sommes heureux de voir ces changements!

Je reconnais que le service entrecoupé durant ce processus a représenté un défi pour ceux affectés. Perdre votre service Internet n'est pas agréable et nous sommes désolés que cela ce soit produit. Nous apprécions votre soutien continu comme membre de notre petit organisme sans but lucratif. Nos changements font en sorte d'avoir un lien plus direct avec Bell donc nos problèmes peuvent être réglés plus rapidement. Nos coûts ont aussi été réduits pour que demeurer rentable pour notre troisième décennie d'existence.

Nos membres nous disent qu'ils ont choisi Libertel, plutôt qu'un service commercial, car nous sommes un organisme à but non lucratif axé sur la communauté. Bien que nous n'ayons pas un centre d'appel 24/7, nous avons des personnes de la communauté qui essai de fournir un service fiable. Nous pensons que ça l'aide à faire de la capitale nationale un meilleur endroit pour tous et faire partie du monde numérique.

--
Ross Kouhi
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
#302-1960 Scott Street, Ottawa ON K1Z 8L8
execdir@ncf.ca

Update: Changes to High-speed DSL Service (2012-May-2)

(Voir en bas pour le français)

Hello NCF Members with High-Speed Service:

This is an update to an earlier message about a period of change at NCF. We're making progress and want to keep you informed.

The underlying high-speed DSL service in Ontario and Quebec is owned and operated by Bell. Bell provides us the service through an intermediary called Teksavvy. That was a helpful relationship for NCF to originally add high-speed DSL to our dial-up capability several years ago. Continued growth, service evolution and financial stability requires that we get closer to the core service.

I'm pleased to announce that we will shortly be moving to connect directly to Bell.

As a non-profit we cannot run balance-sheet deficits. Managing our service costs will help us reduce risk. We also expect to get a quicker resolution of member service problems, and open the door to creating new service offerings.

We are confident that we'll be able to test our new equipment and make the change-over without disruption or a service outage. We will do our best to make this transition as invisible as possible for you.

If we have difficulty during this important transition we will be sure to put updates on your NCF start page at http://start.ncf.ca and also share updates on our telephone help line. For those of you using 'social media,' our Twitter feed at @ncfottawa also provides news and updates in the case of difficulty.

We're hopeful that by summer NCF will have a stronger position than we've seen in years. We further hope to be able to expand the range of services we offer to our members. One example is building an affordable but basic DSL service for dial-up members with limited financial means.

We hope we can count on your support, patience and continued loyalty during this period. Your continued participation helps us make Ottawa/Gatineau a great place, and our community stronger and more inclusive.


- - - - - - - - - - -


Bonjour chers membres Libertel de la Capitale nationale,

Voici une mise à jour à la suite du message envoyé précédemment concernant la période de changement chez Libertel. Nous faisons des progrès et nous voulons vous en informer.

C'est Bell qui gère et exploite le service sous-adjacent DSL à haute vitesse en Ontario et au Québec. Bell nous fournit le service par le biais d'un intermédiaire appelé Teksavvy. Au début, il y a quelques années de ça, notre association avec eux nous permettait d'ajouter un service DSL à haute vitesse à notre capacité d'accès par ligne commutée. Maintenant, notre croissance continue, l'évolution de notre service et notre stabilité financière font en sorte que nous devons se rapprocher du service de base.

Je suis heureux d'annoncer que nous pourrons très bientôt se brancher directement avec Bell.

En tant qu'organisme à but non lucratif, nous ne pouvons maintenir un bilan déficitaire. Gérer nos coûts de service nous aidera à tenir compte de ce risque. Nous nous attendons aussi à résoudre les problèmes des membres relatifs au service de façon plus rapide et peut-être avoir la possibilité d'offrir de nouveaux services.

Nous sommes persuadés que nous pourrons tester notre nouvel équipement et mettre en ?uvre les changements et ce, sans interruption. Nous ferons tout notre possible pour que vous ne soyez pas affectés par la transition.

Si nous avons des difficultés durant cette transition importante, nous nous assurerons de mettre des mises à jour sur votre page d'accueil Libertel au lien http://start.ncf.ca et de partager aussi les mises à jour sur la ligne d'aide téléphonique. Pour ceux d'entre vous qui utilisez les média sociaux, notre compte Twitter @ncfottawa fournit aussi des nouvelles et des mises à jour advenant des difficultés.

Nous espérons que d'ici l'été Libertel sera dans une meilleure position que nous l'avons été depuis des années. Nous espérons même pouvoir élargir l'étendue des services que nous offrons à nos membres. Par exemple, en produisant un service DSL abordable mais de base pour les membres qui ont accès par ligne commutée selon les moyens financiers limités.

Nous espérons pouvoir compter sur votre soutien, votre patience et fidélité habituels durant cette période. Votre collaboration continue nous aide à faire d'Ottawa/Gatineau un meilleur endroit et faire en sorte que notre communauté soit plus forte et plus inclusive.

Best Regards / Bien à vous,

Ross

- - - - - - - -
Ross Kouhi
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
#302-1960 Scott Street, Ottawa ON K1Z 8L8
execdir@ncf.ca

A New Year's Update From NCF (2012-Jan-7)

(Voir en bas pour le français)

Happy New Year from your community-based, member-supported Internet Service provider. I have two brief messages to share with you:

1) We have reached our goal of raising $25,000 before the end of 2011! The funds will enable email server and infrastructure updates. In fact, support has been strong enough that we are closing in on $30,000 with many positive messages of support. Your contributions will go along way to ensuring our systems and servers are updated to continue to provide you good support. Thanks to everyone!

2) A word about safe use of the Internet. Please remember that we never ask for your password or account information through email, over the phone, or in any other way. Anyone who does so is likely seeking to comprimise your account in some way, and should be ignored. (It is also NOT a good idea to respond to such requests via email as this shows them that your account is active, and can lead to more spam and scam messages.) If such a request comes over the phone, simply hang up.

We wish you a happy prosperous 2012 and hope that through your continued support and word-of-mouth, NCF continues to help make the National Capital region a better place.

Regards,

Ross Kouhi
Executive Director

PS - NCF thrives on time contributed by volunteers. If you are comfortable with computers and have good office skills and you can contribute a regular half-day or so a week, please get in contact with us. We'd love to have your help.

---------------

Bonne année de la part de votre fournisseur de service Internet communautaire parrainé par les membres. J'ai deux messages à partager avec vous :

1) Nous avons atteint notre objectif de 25 000 $ avant la fin de 2011! Les fonds permettront de faire des mises à jour à l'infrastructure et au serveur de courriel. En fait, grâce à votre appui, nous sommes tout près de 30 000 $ en plus des nombreux messages d'encouragement. Vos contributions permettront d'assurer que nos systèmes et serveurs sont mis à jour pour continuer de vous fournir un bon soutien. Merci à tous!

2) Un mot au sujet de l'utilisation sécuritaire d'Internet. N'oubliez pas que nous ne vous demandons jamais votre mot de passe ou des renseignements sur votre compte par courriel, par téléphone ou d'aucune autre façon. Si un individu vous demande ces renseignements, il tente sans doute d'accéder à votre compte et vous devriez l'ignorer. (De plus, il est recommandé de NE PAS répondre à ce genre de demandes par courriel car cela prouve que votre compte est actif et cela peut mener à augmenter les pourriels et l'escroquerie.) Si vous recevez un appel de ce genre, veuillez simplement raccrocher.

Nous vous souhaitons une année 2012 prospère et nous espérons que grâce à votre soutien continu et le bouche-à-oreille, Libertel continuera d'aider la communauté de la région de la capitale nationale.

Bien à vous,

Ross Kouhi
Directeur exécutif

Note : Libertel se développe grâce à la contribution des bénévoles. Si vous avez des compétences en informatique et en travail de bureau et que vous pouvez offrir une demie-journée par semaine de façon régulière, veuillez communiquer avec nous. Nous serions heureux de profiter de votre expertise.

Update on NCF Funding Appeal (2011-Dec-11)

Hello NCF members,

(Voir en bas pour le français)

2011 is nearing its end and the holiday season is nearly upon us. It seems that everyone is rushing to finish up plans and projects before the end of the month and bustling around with our hectic social and business schedules. One project that I really hope will meet its target this year is the National Capital FreeNet 2011 Email Server Campaign. If we reach our mark, we will all benefit from the reliability of a service that we can all rely on, by ensuring that NCF has the infrastructure and resources to upgrade our equipment.

Unlike big ISPs with deep pockets to buy new gear, at FreeNet it's just us: a large group of people getting together to share costs, doing something good for themselves and their region.

So in addition to this holiday message to wish you, your friends, and your loved ones a really special holiday season and a Happy New year, this note is a personal appeal for you to donate today, to help FreeNet reach our goal of $25,000.

If you have already donated - Thank you very much! Today, we are just over $19,000. We're nearly there. You can watch progress on the thermometer at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/fundraising.jsp. More importantly, here's how you can do your part. Your donation does not have to be huge, there are lots of us to help, but $5, $10, $50 or even $100 or more will get us to our goal. Please!

You can donate:

- By web: Online contributions can be made by credit card, using a secure web page that has been created for this special fund-raising drive: https://secure.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/ccFundraising.jsp

- By cheque, by mail or in person: NCF's office address is:

National Capital FreeNet
Suite 302
1960 Scott Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Z 8L8

Chris Cope
President, National Capital FreeNet
President@ncf.ca


Bonjour chers membres Libertel de la Capitale nationale,

L'année 2011 s'achève et la période des fêtes est presque arrivé. Tout le monde s'empresse de terminer le travail et les projets d'ici la fin du mois et cela a affaire avec nos activités sociales et l'horaire du travail. J'espère sincèrement que le projet de la Campagne de serveur de courriel 2011 de Libertel de la Capitale national atteindra son objectif. Si nous atteignons notre objectif, nous profiterons tous de la fiabilité du service en nous assurant que Libertel a l' infrastructure et les ressources pour la mise à niveau de notre équipement.

Contrairement aux grands fournisseurs d'accès Internet qui ont les moyens d'acheter la nouvelle technologie, chez Libertel, tout repose sur nous; un grand groupe de personnes se rassembles pour partager les coûts, et faire une bonne action pour soi-même et la région. Donc, en plus de vous souhaiter, à vous, vos amis et votre famille, une très belle période des fêtes et une joyeuse année 2012, ce message est une demande personnel pour que vous contribuiez dès aujourd'hui, pour aider Libertel à atteindre son objectif de 25 000 $.

Si vous avez déjà fait une contribution - je vous remercie beaucoup! Aujourd'hui, nous sommes à un peu plus de 19 000 $. Nous sommes très près de l'objectif. Vous pouvez voir l'évolution sur le thermomètre au lien suivant : http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/fundraising.jsp . Voici comment vous pouvez participer. Vous n'êtes pas obligé de donner beaucoup, car nous sommes nombreux à pouvoir contribuer, mais 5 $, 10 $, 50 $ ou même 100 $ ou plus nous permettra d'atteindre notre objectif. S'il vous plaît!

Voici comment contribuer :

- En ligne : les contributions en ligne peuvent être faites par carte de crédit, en utilisant la page Web sécurisée qui a été créée pour cette levée de fonds toute spéciale : https://secure.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/ccFundraising.jsp

- Par chèque : par la poste ou en personne - l'adresse de Libertel de la Capitale nationale est la suivante :

Libertel de la Capitale nationale
Pièce 302
1960, rue Scott
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Z 8L8

Chris Cope
President, National Capital FreeNet
President@ncf.ca

NCF Appeal for Member Support (2011-Nov-28)

Hello NCF members,

(Voir en bas pour le français)

Back in June we started a campaign to raise funds for new email servers. Response from members was great, and we were able to buy a first new email server and with it prepared new webmail software that has been receiving rave reviews from members who have tested it. We're pretty excited about bringing that project through to completion!

We're about half way there; we've received $12,065 so far toward our goal of $25,000. Also, we are excited that one donor has pledged $4,000 in kind to take us to the top if member donations reach $21,000 before year end.

We have only $8,935 to go!

The Email Server Campaign will benefit members by ensuring NCF has the resources for infrastructure upgrades in early 2012 and to serve us well for the future. Specifically, we need mail server, webmail, back-up, and hosting capability improvements.

Your contribution, be it $5, $10, $50 or $100, will help to improve NCF's services to members like you.

Here's how to contribute:

- By web: Online contributions can be made by credit card, using a secure web page that has been created for this special fund-raising drive: https://secure.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/ccFundraising.jsp

- By cheque, by mail or in person: NCF's office address is:

National Capital FreeNet
Suite 302
1960 Scott Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Z 8L8

NCF is a large group of people getting together to share costs, doing something good for themselves and their region. Thanks for your support,

Thanks for your support.

Ross.

--------------
Ross Kouhi
Executive Director
National Capital Freenet
execdir@ncf.ca


Bonjour aux membres Libertel de la Capitale nationale,

En juin dernier, nous avons commencé une campagne pour amasser des fonds pour l'achat de nouveaux serveurs de courriel. Les membres ont très bien répondu à l'appel. Nous avons été en mesure d'acheter un premier serveur de courriel qui incluait le nouveau logiciel de courriel en ligne qui a suscité des critiques enthousiastes de la part des membres qui l'ont testé. Nous sommes vraiment excités de mener ce projet à terme!

Nous sommes à mi-chemin; nous avons reçu $12,065 jusqu'à maintenant et notre objectif est de $25,000. De plus, nous sommes fiers d'avoir reçu la somme de $4,000 d'un donneur qui nous permettra d'atteindre l'objectif si les dons des membres atteignent $21,000 d'ici la fin de l'année.

Il nous manque seulement $8,935.

La campagne pour les nouveaux serveurs de courriel profitera aux membres dans la mesure où Libertel de la Capitale nationale a les ressources pour les mises à niveau des infrastructures au début 2012 et nous sera utile dans le futur. En particulier, nous devons améliorer la capacit de serveur de courriel, de courriel en ligne, de copie de sauvegarde et d'hébergement de contenu en ligne.

Votre contribution, qu'elle soit de $5, 10, 50 ou 100, aidera améliorer les services Libertel de la Capitale nationale pour les membres comme vous.

Voici comment vous pouvez contribuer :

-En ligne : les contributions en ligne peuvent être faites par carte de crédit, en utilisant la page Web sécurisée qui a été créée pour ce projet spécial : https://secure.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/ccFundraising.jsp

-Par chèque : par la poste ou en personne - l'adresse du bureau de Libertel de la Capitale nationale est la suivante :

Libertel de la Capitale nationale
Pièce 302
1960, rue Scott
Ottawa, Ontario K1Z 8L8

Libertel de la Capitale nationale est un grand groupe de personnes qui se rassemblent pour partager les coûts, faire une bonne action pour soi-même et la région. Merci de votre soutien.

Merci de votre soutien!

Ross.

--------------
Ross Kouhi
Executive Director
National Capital Freenet
execdir@ncf.ca

Hello from your new Executive Director (2011-Oct-28)

Dear NCF Members, Volunteers and Community Partners,

This is a brief note to introduce myself, the new Executive Director of National Capital Freenet. I have had an opportunity to meet or talk with several of you over my first week with the team, and I will enjoy the opportunity to gather further feedback and meet many more of you.

I have some obvious goals - to ensure that the organization runs smoothly, our services are robust and we continue to reach out to new members. I also want to ensure that we are leaders in our space as we move forward. People come to us for our email, hosting, dial-up and DSL service because they value our community-based origins as an alternative to dealing with the larger corporations in the market.

In the beginning NCF was a leading-edge venture. Many people in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec tell us we were their first exposure to the Internet. As a high-tech worker myself, I used NCF to connect to my workplace and run complex computer-chip design tasks. NCF was a leader and breaking new ground and part of the area's high-tech personality.

We certainly evolved, improving dial-up modem speeds and adding high-speed access, but we are perhaps not the leaders we once were. I hope to make us more relevant to leading-edge Internet culture and entrepreneurship in the area. We will also seek to add further outreach and community relevance.

Every year as technology advances some people are left less able to participate due to the widening 'digital divide.' I think we are well positioned to explore paths to help change that. We hope to work with partners in the community to improve access and understanding for people in such a situation.

We have also benefited greatly from the contributions of volunteers over the years. I will be seeking to revitalize those connections in coming weeks, to build our connections with enthusiastic volunteers who can occasionally lend a hand to help us as push forward towards our 20th year.

In the meantime, I thank you for your contributions, donations, your feedback and your patronage over the years. Say 'hi' if you're near the big log cabin on Scott Street. I hope to see you in the community as we reach out to build the visibility and effectiveness of NCF in our community.

Warmest Regards,

Ross Kouhi
Executive Director

Build a stronger NCF by Contributing to the Email Server Campaign (2011-Jun-15)

Voir en bas pour le français

Hello,

We'd like to do more and need your help by contributing to the 2011 Email Server Campaign.

We keep our rates for DSL, Dial-up and Organizational Web site hosting low because as a not-for-profit NCF does not have shareholders. We don't spend oodles on adverstising - relying instead on word of mouth and members helping members in the discussion groups lowering help desk costs. We're a large group benefiting from economies of scale of the membership, and the office team would like to do more.

The Email Server campaign and fundraising will benefit members by ensuring NCF has the infrastructure and resources to upgrade equipment in 2011/2012. This will put in place the ground work for future years. We specifically wish to upgrade our mail server, back-up and hosting capabilities to better support member organization websites.

In the interim, we will be working to improve the current mail system in preparation for the complete upgrade. Modern equipment will enable NCF to reduce its footprint at Carleton while expanding services.

We have set a target to raise $25K for Development by 1st September and request your contribution be it $5, $10, $50 or $100 to drive NCF forward.

Here's how to contribute:

- If you'd like to contribute, please do so soon. Contributions can be made by credit card, online, using a web page that has been created for this special fund-raising drive:

https://secure.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/ccFundraising.jsp

- To contribute by mailing a cheque: NCF's office address is:
National Capital FreeNet
Suite 302
1960 Scott Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Z 8L8

The Development Fund will help NCF improve its services and infrastructure. NCF relies on your support. Remember, NCF is a large group of people getting together to share costs, doing something good for themselves and their region.

Thank you.

Rowland Few
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
613-520-9001 ext 112

Contribuez à la campagne de développement de Libertel

Bonjour,

Libertel souhaite aller de l'avant. Pour ce faire, Libertel sollicite vos contributions dans le cadre de sa campagne de développement.

Les frais de télécommunications par téléphone, DSL et l'hébergement de sites Web organisationnels demeurent bas parce que Libertel est une société à but non lucratif qui n'a pas d'actionnaires. Libertel ne dépense pas d'argent pour la publicité mais compte plutôt sur le bouche à oreille et l'entraide des membres dans les groupes de discussion afin de réduire les coûts des services de dépannage. Libertel est un vaste groupe dont les membres bénéficient d'économies d'échelle. Libertel aimerait faire encore davantage pour ses membres.

La campagne de développement et de levée de fonds profitera aux membres en permettant à Libertel d'acquérir l'infrastructure et les ressources pour mettre à niveau son équipement en 2011-2012 en préparation des années à venir. En particulier, Libertel souhaite mettre à niveau ses serveurs de courriel et de secours, et son gestionnaire hôte afin de mieux appuyer les sites web des organismes membres.

Un équipement plus moderne permettra de réduire l'empreinte environnementale à Carleton tout en prenant de l'expansion.

L'objectif de la campagne est d'amasser 25 000 $ d'ici le premier septembre. Nous sollicitons votre contribution, qu'elle soit de 5 $, 10 $, 50 $ ou de 100 $.

Voici comment faire :

- Si vous désirez contribuer, svp faites-le bientôt. On peut faire une contribution par carte de crédit en ligne, à partir d'une page web créée à cet effet:

https://secure.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/ccFundraising.jsp

- Vous pouvez également envoyer un chéque à: Libertel
1960, rue Scott
bureau 302
Ottawa (Ontario)
K1Z 8L8

Les fonds recueillis dans le cadre de la campagne aideront Libertel à améliorer ses services et son infrastructure. Libertel compte sur votre soutien. Souvenez- vous que Libertel est un vaste groupe de personnes qui veulent partager les coûts pour leur bien propre, le bien de la collectivité et de la région.

Merci.

Rowland Few
Directeur exécutif
Libertel de la capitale
613-520-9001 poste 112

Thank you and Happy Holidays (2010-Dec-31)

Hello NCF Members,

version française à suivre

Thanks for your support and being a member. Here's what's new at NCF:

This is a season of gift-giving, and NCF's office staff are pleased to have received a gift of five new computer workstations arranged by NCF member Theresa Jobeteh from her employer. All five new workstations will be loaded with the Ubuntu operating system.

We have also received a donation of three servers from Rick Parsons a local entrepreneur and was arranged by NCF founder Dave Sutherland. The servers will become part of NCF's core infrastructure to enhance reliability and provide new services. We're planning to use them for mail and member web pages, and expect them to be in-service in January.

NCF's SpamFilter has a small new feature. If you accidentally delete a 'yellowMail' item that you wanted, you can now recover it, for up to a week after the accidental deletion.

This years award for Volunteer of the year goes to Howard Eisenberg for his outstanding contribution to the discussion forums - members helping members. If you have problems or want to help members solve problems, check out http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/support

NCF is owned by its members, and is Ottawa's not-for-profit alternative to commercial internet service providers. Having many members helps makes our organization strong, so please recommend NCF to your friends.

Best wishes for the new year,

Rowland Few
NCF Executive Director


Bonjour Membres de NCF

Merci pour votre appui et d'être un membre. Voici ce qu'il y a de neuf a NCF

C'est une saison de don de cadeau. Le personnel administratif de NCF sont heureux d'avoir reçu un cadeau de cinq nouveaux postes de travail d'ordinateur fourni par l'employeur de Theresa Jobeteh, une membre de NCF. Chacun des cinq nouveaux postes de travail sera chargé avec le système d'exploitation Ubuntu.

Nous avons également reçu une donation de trois serveurs fourni par Rick Parsons un entrepreneur local, qui a été arrangé par le fondateur de NCF, Dave Sutherland. Les Serveurs deviendront déployés en tant Qu'élément infrastructure de NCF pour augmenter la fiabilité et pour fournir de nouveaux services. Nous prévoyons les utilisé pour courrier et les pages Web des membres, et qu'ils soient en service en Janvier.

Le filtre pollupostage de NCF a un nouveau dispositif. Si accidentellement, vous supprimez un article du "courrier Jaune" que vous avez voulu, vous pouvez maintenant le récupérer pendant jusqu'à une semaine après la suppression accidentelle.

Cette années le récompense pour le volontaire de l'année va à Howard Elisenberg pour sa contribution exceptionnelle aux forum de discussion -membres aidant autres membres. Si vous avez des problèmes ou voulez aider des membres à résoudre des problèmes, clicquez ici. http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/support

NCF est possédé par ses membres, et ils est L'alternative non lucrative d'Ottawa aux prestataires de service commerciaux d'Internet. Avoir beaucoup d'aides des membres rend notre organisation forte, veuillez ainsi recommandent NCF à vos amis.

Les meilleurs voeux pendant la nouvelle année,

Rowland Few
Directeur exécutif NCF

Update from the National Capital FreeNet (2009-Jul-14)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

Here's an update on what's happening at FreeNet:

Downtime for upgrades: Carleton University, host of NCF's computers, will be upgrading their facilities next week. During the upgrades, NCF services such as the StartPage and email will be unavailable. NCF services will be off the air starting Friday evening July 17 at 9 pm, and back online before 9 am Saturday morning. As usual, we will be providing system status updates via the NCF start page and office number 613-520-9001.

Upgrades to NCF computers: While Carleton upgrades their equipment, we've been doing upgrades as well. We've consolidated our existing equipment, and now we are planning for upgrades of our mail server and disk storage and back-up systems -- made possible, in part, thanks to donations from NCF members to the Development Fund.

Computer donations: Do you have an old computer you'd like to donate to someone less fortunate? There are two new community groups who are refurbishing old computers and would be pleased to receive your donation of old but working computers: Computers for Communities (http://computersforcommunities.ca/ ) and Knights of Columbus (http://krcrefurb.webng.com ). Each organization has volunteers who clean up the computers, erase the old data, and install system software. NCF will be supporting both organizations by providing dial-up internet access to those receiving refurbished computers, helping to reduce the digital divide and make our region a better place to live.

Thanks for mentioning NCF to your friends who are looking for high speed internet services -- the more people using NCF, the better it is for all members, due to economies of scale.

Regards,

Rowland

DSL improvements at NCF (2008-Jan-7)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Happy New Year from everyone at the National Capital FreeNet office.

NCF is celebrating a successful year. Our office location (in the Trailhead Building on Scott St) is popular with members, and we're making steady progress improving services. Members are giving us considerable help by referring their friends to NCF for high speed internet services -- and our success is leading to volume discounts. Our modem supplier has reduced prices and therefore we are able to reduce our DSL gateway prices by 15%, effective immediately.

For existing DSL members there is also good news. Our maximum bandwidth guideline has been raised to 200 GB per month, from 40 GB. A typical member uses less that 10 GB per month and even high usage rarely tops 80 GB, so 200 GB should be more than enough for almost everyone.

You may want to keep an eye on NCF's StartPage (http://start.ncf.ca) as we have a few improvements to services that will be rolled out soon.

Thanks for mentioning NCF to your friends who are looking for high speed internet services -- it helps everyone.

Cheers, and best wishes for the new year,

John


John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
613-520-9001

Help reduce bank fees by using pre-authorized debit (2007-Apr-20)

S.V.P. voir en bas pour le français!

Bank fees are taking an ever larger chunk of member donations and reducing the amount that we have to spend on providing services to you. Credit cards are the worst offenders, charging a transaction fee of 15 cents plus 2.5 percent of the total amount (when a member donates $60 by credit card, $1.64 goes to the bank).

All told, NCF is paying many thousands of dollars each year to some of Canada's most profitable companies.

With some research, we found that the most cost effective banking solution is to use pre-authorized debits (also known as 'auto-debit' and 'electronic funds transfer' or 'EFT'). A pre-authorized debit transaction costs 14 cents plus a batch charge. So we've set up systems at NCF to support pre-authorized debits.

If you're using a credit card to donate or make DSL payments, please consider switching to pre-authorized debit. To switch to pre-authorized debit, just login to NCF and then go to this web page: https://secure.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/pad.jsp or phone our office at 613-520-9001.

Thanks for your support!

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
613-520-9001

====

Les frais bancaires coûtent plus cher que jamais et absorbent par le fait même une plus grande part des dons de nos membres. Ainsi, les frais bancaires réduisent la somme totale à consacrer à la prestation de services pour nos membres. Les cartes de crédits sont les plus coûteuses. Chaque transaction coûte 0,15 $ en plus de 2,5 % du montant total de la transaction (par exemples : lorsqu'un membre donne 60 $ par carte de crédit, 1,64 $ est absorbés par les frais bancaires).

En tout et partout, Libertel paie annuellement plusieurs milliers de dollars à des compagnies canadiennes déjà extrêmement rentables.

Une petite recherche a démontré que la solution la plus économique pour Libertel serait le débit préautorisé (également appelé transfert électronique de fonds). Une transaction préautorisée ne coûte que 0,14 $ (plus des frais pour le lot). Nous avons donc instauré à Libertel un système soutenant les retraits préautorisés.

Si vous utilisez une carte de crédit pour faire un don ou des paiements pour votre service DSL, veuillez envisager le paiement préautorisé. Pour changer de mode de paiement et faire des paiements préautorisés, connectez-vous à Libertel et allez à la page : https://secure.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/pad.jsp, ou encore, téléphonez au 613-520 9001.

Merci de votre soutien!

John Selwyn
Directeur exécutif
Libertel
613-520-9001

Secure email at NCF, and web page traffic reports (2006-Dec-19)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: execdir@ncf.ca

Hello,

NCF's email servers now support secure connections, meaning the transfer of authentication information and email text between your computer and NCF can now be protected by encryption. You can (and should) now configure your email program to use this. Please refer to how-to information by logging into the NCF StartPage (http://start.ncf.ca) and clicking on the link in the announcement (center column).

Your password is also now protected when logging into NCF's StartPage.

New! Web page traffic ('hits') reports for your web pages at NCF are now available. Look for the announcement on the NCF StartPage.

The NCF office will close December 23rd and re-open January 2nd. If you need to reach NCF during this period, please leave a voice message (613-520-9001) or send an email to office@ncf.ca .

We've made a lot of progress this year at NCF, thanks to support from members, staff, volunteers, contributors, and the community.

Member-owned National Capital FreeNet is Ottawa's not-for-profit alternative to commercial internet providers.

Thanks for your support, and best wishes for the holidays,

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
613-520-9001 ext 112

Improved spam detection; high-speed access without residential telephone (2006-Nov-27)

Voir en bas pour le français!

Hello,

Here's some recent news from NCF.

New spam-fighting software was installed at NCF last week, and we're very pleased by its effectiveness. Spam was reduced by 98% for one member who used to get a lot of spam. Virus detection was also improved. Our thanks to NCF member Al Richman for the idea, and to NCF system administrator Andre Dalle for making it happen. For the 'inside story', go to the StartPage (http://start.ncf.ca) and follow the link from the announcement.

Also new at NCF: For people who want high-speed DSL internet access but don't want residential telephone service (eg., cellphone or VOIP users), we now offer 'dry copper' DSL. For more information, click on 'High-speed access' from the NCF StartPage (http://start.ncf.ca).

More members means more services for NCF members -- so please tell your friends about NCF -- especially about high-speed DSL, which is popular these days.

Member-owned National Capital FreeNet is a not-for-profit alternative to commercial internet providers. Thanks for your support.

Cheers,
John

Bonjour,

Voici quelques nouvelles récentes de Libertel.

La semaine dernière, un nouveau logiciel antipourriels a été installé à Libertel et nous sommes très heureux de son efficacité. Un membre qui recevait auparavant beaucoup de pourriels a vu ses pourriels réduits de 98 %. De plus, la détection de virus a également été améliorée. Nous tenons à remercier les membres suivants : Al Richman pour l'idée, et l'administrateur de système Andra Dalle, pour l'avoir rendue possible. Pour en savoir plus, visitez la page d'accueil (http://www.ncf.ca/index_fr.html) et suivez les liens vers l'annonce.

Autre nouvelle : aux personne qui souhaitent avoir l'internet haute vitesse DSL sans les services d'une ligne téléphonique résidentielle (cellulaires ou voix sur IP), nous offrons maintenant la connexion DSL "dry copper". Pour de plus amples renseignements, cliquez sur le lien "accès internet haute vitesse" à partir de la page d'accueil de Libertel (http://www.ncf.ca/index_fr.html).

Enfin, un plus grand nombre de membres signifie davantage de services pour les membres de Libertel. Parler donc à vos amis de Libertel, notamment de l'accès internet haute vitesse DSL, très populaire à l'heure actuelle.

Libertel de la capitale nationale appartient à ses membres et est une alternative à but non lucratif aux fournisseurs de services internet commerciaux. Merci de votre soutien.

À bientôt,
John

John Selwyn
NCF Executive Director
613-520-9001 ext 112

NCF office has new location, and NCF DSL is now up to 5 Mbps (2006-Sep-19)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hi,

I hope you have been having a great summer. It's been a busy time for NCF, and I'd like to bring you up to date.

The biggest news is that the NCF office has a new home! NCF staff and volunteers are now at the Trailhead building, at 1960 Scott Street, on the edge of Westboro. Our new office is large enough for all of us, has free parking, and great bus access (the Westboro transit station is about 200m from our door). I'm looking forward to members coming to visit our bright new headquarters. (Our computers and network equipment continue to be located at Carleton University, one of NCF's key partners.)

More good news -- NCF's high-speed internet access has been upgraded. If you have NCF's DSL service, your best possible speed is now 5 Mbps, up from 3 Mbps (the actual maximum speed achieved depends on the length and quality of your local telephone line -- you can obtain an estimate of how fast your line could go by entering your phone number into NCF's DSL web page, at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/registration/dsl/index.jsp). This improvement is at no additional cost -- NCF DSL, now 5 Mbps, is still only $29.95 per month.

This is a time of year when many people think about getting internet services. NCF is a great not-for-profit alternative to commercial internet service providers. If you know of friends looking for internet access -- either DSL or donation-based dial-up -- please tell them about NCF. The more NCF members, the better we can serve members.

People interested in becoming NCF members or signing up for DSL can be directed to www.ncf.ca or give us a call at 613-520-9001

Cheers

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
613-520-9001 ext 112

P.S. Just recently, TalkSwitch, a local up-and-coming technology company, donated one of their latest products, a VoIP-enabled phone switch, to support staff and volunteers in our new office. This switch packs a lot of features in a very small package (about the size of a hardcover book, yet able to support our entire office). The many features will improve the operation of our help desk while reducing monthly expenses. Way to go, TalkSwitch!

We encourage sharing your NCF DSL with your neighbours (2006-Mar-11)

Voir en bas pour le français!

Hello,

Commercial internet providers do not permit DSL sharing, but as Ottawa's not-for-profit alternative to commercial internet providers, our goal is to make Ottawa a better place to live -- and we think sharing among neighbours helps make our communities better. Therefore, NCF has no problem with members sharing their NCF DSL connection with neighbours.

The easiest way to share your DSL is by using a modem/router with wireless capability (such as the SpeedTouch 585 available from NCF). It has a range of 60m and often much farther. We'd like everyone in a sharing group to become NCF members (even if only a free, StartPage-only member). One person in a sharing group would also subscribe to NCF DSL and get a wireless DSL modem/router. Computers connect to the DSL modem/router by ethernet (up to four computers) or by wireless (using secure transmission with password access control). Many modern laptops have wireless built in; otherwise a wireless modem costs about $69 per computer. Each family could contribute $10 to the member paying for the service and everyone would have high speed access for a price not much higher than dialup. Not only that, but everyone would be able to use their phone line again, even while using the internet.

Privacy between computers connected to your modem/router is something to consider. Ideal candidates for sharing are neighbours who have only one computer, each configured for safe access to the internet, who will be just as safe when connecting to a shared router (probably safer because of the router's security features). People with multiple home computers who enable file sharing have a more complicated situation. We've set up an NCF discussion group for members to share their experiences and tips.

DSL is very fast, is always on, and doesn't block your phone. Sharing is a way to reduce your cost of DSL. Three neighbours sharing one DSL can reduce the cost to only $10/month per neighbour. But sharing increases complexity and may have shortcomings, so you'll need to assess your situation.

For more information about how to share your NCF DSL with your neighbours, have a look at the 'DSL sharing' section of our DSL web page, at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/registration/dsl

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
NCF Internet
520-2600 ext 8371

To see prior NCF news emails, .



Sujet: Nous vous encourageons à partager votre service DSL de NCF avec vos voisins.

Bonjour,

Les fournisseurs Internet ne permettent pas le partage des services DSL, mais, en tant qu'alternative à but non lucratif, notre objectif est de faire d'Ottawa une ville où il fait bon vivre - et nous croyons que de partager avec nos voisins renforce les communautés. Ainsi donc, NCF ne voit aucun inconvénient lorsque ses membres partagent leur service DSL de NCF avec leurs voisins.

La meilleure façon de partager votre service est en utilisant un modem/routeur sans fil, tel que le «Speed Touch 585» disponible chez NCF. Il a une distance d'accès d'au moins 60m. Nous aimerions que tous les participants d'un group de partage soit membres de NCF, au moins comme membre de page de départ à titre gracieux. Une personne du groupe devrait s'inscrire à NCF et obtenir un modem/router de service DSL sans fil. Les ordinateurs se connectent au modem/routeur au travers d'ethernet (jusqu'à 4 ordinateurs) ou par voie aérienne en utilisant une transmission sécurisée par un mot de passe. De nos jours, beaucoup d'ordinateurs portatifs incluent la transmission sans fil; autrement un modem de transmission sans fil coûte 69$ par ordinateur. Chaque famille pourrait contribuer 10$ vers les frais de service et tous auraient un accès à haute vitesse pour un prix à peine plus élevé qu'un accès par téléphone. De plus chacun conserverait l'accès à sa ligne téléphonique tout en utilisant Internet.

Les droits à la vie privée de chaque utilisateur connecté à votre routeur doivent être soupesés. Les candidats idéaux pour le partage sont des voisins qui ont un seul ordinateur, chacun étant configuré pour un accès Internet sécurisé. Ainsi ils seront aussi protégés lors de leur connexion, et même plus grâce aux mesures de sécurité du routeur. Les personnes qui ont plusieurs ordinateurs à la maison et qui partagent les accès à leurs fichiers de données introduisent des complications. Nous avons établi un groupe de discussion sur NCF leur permettant d?échanger leurs expériences et tuyaux.

Le service DSL est très rapide, toujours disponible, et n'empêche pas l'accès à votre téléphone. Le partage est un moyen de réduire les coûts du service DSL. Trois voisins qui partagent un accès DSL réduisent leur coût à seulement 10$ par mois chacun. Mais partager augmente la complexité du réseau et pourrait avoir des défauts, ainsi vous devriez analyser votre situation particulière.

Pour plus de renseignements sur la façon de partager avec vos voisins votre service DSL de NCF, jetez un coup d'oeil à la section «DSL sharing» de la page DSL de notre site web à .

Sincères salutations,

John Selwyn
Directeur exécutif
NCF Internet
520-2600 poste 8371

DSL from NCF is now ready! (2005-Sep-17)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Dear NCF members,

I'm very pleased to announce that residents of the National Capital region now have a not-for-profit alternative to commercial DSL providers.

NCF's high-speed DSL internet access has a couple of advantages over our existing dial-up access:

  1. DSL does not block your telephone calls (you can make or receive phone calls any time, even while using the internet)
  2. DSL is fast, up to 3Mb/sec, about 60 times faster than 56Kb/sec dial-up
  3. With DSL, you can be connected all day, it doesn't matter -- the circuit is dedicated to you
  4. You can connect multiple computers, using a home network (wired or wireless).

The DSL offered by NCF is provided by Bellnexxia, the company that provides all DSL in Ontario and Quebec -- so NCF's DSL is the same as that provided by others, eg., Sympatico (but without the marketing costs, etc).

As a not-for-profit member-owned organization, NCF can offer DSL at the best rates in town, at $29.95 per month. Members interested in DSL will also need a DSL modem and line filter. If you don't own one already, NCF can supply members with a high quality DSL modem-router for $100 and a line filter for $5. Families/households with many NCF members can be served by one DSL connection (one DSL member and the others as regular NCF members).

You can learn more about DSL and, if you like, sign up, by going to http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/registration/dsl

Now NCF members have two choices of internet access: traditional dial-up at up to 56Kb/s, or DSL at up to 3Mb/s.

I am proud of the services that the NCF team has brought to the nation's capital. I wish more people knew that NCF is a not-for-profit alternative to commercial internet suppliers, because more members would make NCF better (and less expensive) for everyone. We have placed posters about NCF in branches of the Ottawa Public Library and around the campus at Carleton and Ottawa University. Here's what our latest poster looks like: http://web.ncf.ca/xx174/poster2005.png . If you would like to post some locally, give me a call at 520-2600 ext 8371.

NCF helps make our region a better place to live. Please tell your friends about NCF.

For DSL, check the web page at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/registration/dsl and give us a call at the NCF office if you have any questions, at 520-5777.

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
NCF Internet
520-2600 ext 8371

Latest NCF news (2005-Aug-29)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

The NCF team has been busy this summer adding DSL to our internet access offerings. Testing is complete, and soon we'll be starting trials with members, then we'll open up the service to all NCF members who are interested. Initial feedback has been very positive.

During the summer months, we had a few short service outages, due to upgrades by Carleton University of their network, and due to a couple of NCF hardware failures. Carleton's work is mostly finished and the faulty NCF equipment has been isolated and replaced. Thanks for being patient.

The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is working with the NCF to make it even easier for local residents to enjoy the benefits of the internet. In partnership with the OPL, you can now access the internet at any branch, sign up friends for NCF email or other NCF services, and validate NCF membership by presenting identification at library information desks.

I expect to be sending email again soon about DSL.

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
520-2600 ext 8024

Results of recent member survey, and current plans (2005-Jul-18)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

Over 600 members participated in the recent survey that asked members for opinions on the following proposed actions to improve NCF:

  • Re-organize NCF as a not-for-profit internet co-op
  • Create the (optional) 'NCF Access Assistance Fund' to help members experiencing financial hardship
  • Continue the (optional) 'NCF Development Fund' for improving services
  • Operate NCF services on a not-for-profit payment basis (instead of the current minimum contribution model)

All four proposed actions were endorsed by a majority of members, so we started work on them. Everything continues to look feasible except for the proposal to re-organize as a co-op. You'll recall that re-organizing was proposed because we believe the phrase 'NCF Internet Co-op' would better communicate what NCF does and how it is organized. Unfortunately, we've since learned that re-organizing as a co-op would be too costly for those communication benefits. Also, our current status as a not-for-profit member-owned organization is correct for what NCF is doing -- helping make the national capital region a better place to live -- so we're going to defer (probably drop) the proposal of re-organizing. We'll improve communications other ways.

Thank you for the many thoughtful and helpful comments during the survey.

Our current focus is preparing for offering DSL access. We'll test our procedures with a group of about 30 members, and then expand from there. Watch for announcements, if you're interested in DSL access. It's looking good!

We've got a new Helpline Phone Number! It's 520-5777. There's now a much better chance of reaching a person immediately because our new phone system cascades calls to any number of volunteers (whereas the old system went to voice recording if even only one phone was busy). Also, people looking for help will now be able to obtain it 24-hours a day via automated interactions, in addition to the existing online help, discussion groups, volunteers, and staff at the NCF office.

Thanks again to all the members who participated in the recent survey,

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
520-2600 ext 8024

ps., the recent survey text and results are available here

Proposed changes at NCF (2005-May-27)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

We had good participation in the recent survey about NCF offering 3Mbps DSL (broadband) internet access on a monthly basis. There was strong interest in DSL, so we're moving forward!

(Of course all existing NCF access services, such as dial-up, will be unaffected; DSL will be a new option, for those who want it.)

For many reasons, the introduction of DSL makes this a good time to think about some changes at NCF. We're considering the following actions:

  • Re-organize NCF as a not-for-profit internet co-op
  • Create the (optional) 'NCF Access Assistance Fund' to help members experiencing financial hardship
  • Continue the (optional) 'NCF Development Fund' for improving services
  • Operate NCF services on a not-for-profit payment basis (instead of the current minimum contribution model)

We believe this and other changes will improve NCF considerably. We've prepared an information page and a short survey that describes the proposed changes and asks for your comments.

To participate in the survey and learn more about the proposals, please go to:

http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/home/survey/coop

We're excited about the benefits of these changes, which we believe could be implemented within a few weeks. I'd appreciate your participation in the survey and your comments. Our next steps will depend on what you tell us.

Cheers,

John


John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
520-2600 ext 8024

High-speed DSL internet access at NCF (2005-Apr-12)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

Many members have asked if NCF could provide DSL (broadband) internet access. We think we could, and we're running a short two-question survey to find out how many members would be interested.

To participate in the survey and learn more about DSL from NCF, please go to:

http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/home/modems/dslSurvey.jsp

As you know, NCF is a not-for-profit organization owned by its members. The DSL service would be operated at cost. The more people interested, the less it will cost per member.

(NCF DSL would be in addition to NCF's current dial-up service. Of course there would be no need for members to use DSL if they do not want it.)

I'd appreciate your participation in the survey to let us know whether or not you'd be interested in high-speed DSL service at NCF.

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
520-2600 ext 8024

Thanks to NCF volunteers, and recently-added services (2005-Mar-6)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

I'd like to thank all of the volunteers that have been helping NCF over the past year. Volunteers choose to donate their time to help local residents get connected and resolve internet problems. Volunteers complete many tasks in the NCF office and generally help keep NCF operating.

I see the volunteers come in every day, but many members may not realize what a great bunch of people are helping out. The next time you call our office, be sure to thank the person who helps you. Their volunteer efforts are helping make Ottawa a better place.

Over the past year a number of services have been created by the NCF development team and are available for you from your NCF StartPage. Personally, I love this environment, as it is refreshingly free of ads or pop-ups or animations. When I am at the office, library, or visiting a friend (anywhere there is internet) my online world is available to me -- my documents (via web file manager), my spam-filtered email (via web mail), my favorites web sites (web links), and news I care about (CBC news selected through Change Preferences). Check out the web file manager, discussion groups, and "Speakers' Corner"; all these are available from your NCF StartPage, at http://start.ncf.ca.

For people with web pages at NCF, there's a new tool from the development team that you can include on your web page so that people can contact you without exposing your email address to spammers. There's more information about this in the announcement on the StartPage.

Finally, all the new overflow modem lines are up and running. We now have 92 extra modem lines during evenings and weekends.

Thanks for your support of NCF, and thank you again to all the volunteers,

Best wishes,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
520-2600 ext 8024

We're adding more lines to NCF's modem pool (2004-Dec-20)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

Good news for members using NCF's modem pool -- to supplement the 276 lines of the main modem pool, we are doubling the size of the overflow modem pool, from 48 to 96 lines. These new modem lines will be available evenings, weekends and holidays -- exactly when usage is highest. We are currently testing these new services and they should be fully operational before the start of the holidays.

Carleton University, and therefore the NCF office, will be closed for the holidays from Dec 25 to Jan 3. During this period, account renewals can be done online at http://start.ncf.ca. Our office will be open as usual starting Tuesday Jan 4. Our office hours are from 9am to 1pm, Mon to Fri.

Every year the internet is becoming a bigger part of our lives. NCF is looking for volunteers at the NCF help desk to help members get the most from the internet. Experience is not necessary as we have great tools and a supportive environment. If you are interested in learning more about the internet and helping others in your community, please give me a call at 520-2600 x8024 or email to Execdir@ncf.ca

All the best for the holidays,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
520-2600 ext 8024

What we did with the 2004 NCF Development Fund (2004-Nov-10)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

You may remember that earlier this year in January, 574 members contributed a sum of $15,343 to fund improves for all NCF members. Their donations were matched by a further $15,343 from Industry Canada as part of the SmartCapital program, for a total of $30,686 to the 2004 Development Fund.

I'm pleased to announce the Development Fund has made possible two major enhancements for NCF members: Greater dial-up capacity, and better email 'spam' filtering.

The Development Fund allowed us to expand our dialup facility from 276 to 324 digital modem lines, providing reliable and trouble-free connections to the internet for more people. Also, through some clever use of technology and generous support by a local partner (to be announced), an additional pool of modems provides extra capacity during peak periods. This new modem pool makes good use of existing telecom infrastructure that was sitting idle evenings and weekends, making it available to NCF members. You can see this new 'overflow' pool in action on the 'current modem availability' web page (StartPage -> About NCF / System Status -> Current Availability).

Also, the Development Fund made it possible to improve NCF's email systems. Processing speed and capacity have been improved, as has our spam filtration. If you are being bothered by unwanted email, check out NCF's unique Spam Filter (StartPage -> Tools / SpamFilter) for an introduction.

Thank you to everyone who made these improvements possible by donating to the NCF Development Fund last January. Your donations helped make our region a better place to live.

More members would reduce cost per member, so as they say, if you like what we are doing, tell a friend -- if not, tell me! I think NCF is one of the region's hidden treasures -- please tell people about NCF.

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
execdir@ncf.ca
520-2600 ext 8024

Changes to contribution guidance (2004-Sep-29)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

With the recent improvement of NCF services, many people with their own internet access want to use just NCF's services, not our modems (which are expensive to operate). So this year, the donation guidance we provide when an account is due for annual renewal will depend on what services are used:

  • For members who use NCF's modems, we recommend a donation of $5/month
  • For members who use only NCF's email or web page hosting, and do not use NCF's modems, we recommend a donation of $1/month
  • For members who use only NCF's StartPage, CBC news, and discussion groups (no modems, email, or web pages hosting), we recommend no donation (but of course would be pleased to receive support)
  • In addition to covering their costs, all members are encouraged to contribute a little bit extra to help others less fortunate, and to help NCF improve core services.

(No action now, please -- you'll receive email when your account is due for annual renewal)

We hope this new contribution guidance will encourage people who want to use only NCF's email or web services to feel more welcome.

Another change this year is that we are asking all members to contribute a minimum amount to supporting the operation of NCF, either financially or by volunteering. Most members choose to contribute financially, but for those who prefer to volunteer, opportunities include activities such as helping new members get online, or participating on a committee or project. Details will be included with email and web pages about account renewal.

With support from all members, NCF will be able to continue helping people of our region achieve the benefits of the internet.

NCF has come a long way in the last two years. We have more modems (372 compared to 192 two years ago), faster modems (56k bps compared to 33.6k bps), improved web services, better office tools, and NCF SpamFilter (selective mail delivery). Membership has climbed to 8,900 members. This year looks exciting too, with several new services nearing release. Watch for announcements on the StartPage.

As always, I would be pleased to have your comments. You can reach me at the NCF office, at 520-2600 extension 8024.

Thanks for your support,

John Selwyn
NCF, Executive Director
520-2600 ext 8024

Update on what's happening at NCF (2004-Feb-19)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

Here's an update on what's happening at NCF this month.

SpamFilter, the new spam control system from NCF's development team that was introduced in December, is now used by over 500 members. Here's what one member has to say today about SpamFilter: "I have been using SpamFilter for about one month now and I have to say that overall, spam is a thing of the past." If you get too much spam, maybe it can help. It's at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/home/spamfilter/intro.html

(The NCF development team is working on a way to make NCF spam control tools available to text-based FreePort users too -- testing is planned to begin later this month.)

Web-based 'discussion groups' are now in testing. NCF is developing this technology to support web-based discussion, a cornerstone of online community. Discussion groups will be an easy and natural way for members to add a new dimension to their pages, making them active and interesting. Early trials are going well! We expect that soon any member or organization at NCF will be able to host their own web-based discussions. Watch for announcements on NCF's StartPage.

Our modems at Mitel Corporation (in Kanata) will soon be upgraded to 56 kbps (from 33.6 kbps). This will be good news for members in the western part of our region for whom our modems at Carleton are a long distance call.

The Help Desk "Bookshelf" is now in operation. It's a fun new way to share knowledge about how to use the internet and NCF with others. To have a look, click Help from the StartPage (top-right) and then click on "NCF Bookshelf".

Thank you, members, for your continuing support. When everyone contributes, we can do more for members and the burden is light ("many hands make light work").

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
execdir@ncf.ca
520-2600 ext 8024

News about the NCF Development Fund (2004-Jan-27)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Dear NCF Members,

On behalf of the thousands of people who will benefit, thank you to the 574 members who contributed a sum of $15,343 to the NCF Development Fund in December. Your contributions will be matched by a grant of the same size from Industry Canada as part of the SmartCapital program and will help make the national capital region a better place to live.

Thank you also to everyone who replied with suggestions for what NCF could do this year to help our region (it's never too late to send in more ideas). A basic theme in suggestions was a desire for ways to communicate more effectively in groups. People want to be able to host discussions, make people aware of what they are doing, and find people interested in joining them in causes and initiatives. We're going to give this some thought.

SpamFilter, a new spam control system from NCF's development team, has been tested by over 300 members and is now ready for general use. If you get too much spam, maybe it can help. It's at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/home/spamfilter/intro.html

Best wishes for the new year!

John


John Selwyn
Executive Director
execdir@ncf.ca
520-2600 ext 8024

ps. If you missed the email sent by Chris Cope (chair of the NCF board of directors) introducing the NCF Development Fund, it can be found at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/board/fund.html

What more could NCF do for our community? (2003-Dec-24)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello,

To help with planning for next year, I'd like to receive your ideas and suggestions for what additional things NCF could do to make our region a better place to live.

As you know, NCF is owned by you, its members. Members share the costs and benefits of NCF. If NCF were able to do more, what things should we do that would make things better for you and our community? What web-based services would be useful to you? What services would make your community interactions more 'vibrant'?

I'd be pleased if you could send me your ideas, to execdir@ncf.ca. I probably won't be able to respond individually, but your ideas and suggestions will be used to plan for next year.

Also, I have messages from the NCF Office and the Internet Desktop ("iDesk") team:

* NCF Office: Carleton University, and therefore the NCF office, will be closed for the holidays from Dec 24 to Jan 4. Our office will be open as usual starting Monday Jan 5 from 9am to 1pm, Mon to Fri.

* iDesk team: You're probably already familiar with NCF Internet Desktop, which gives you use of software from Microsoft, Corel, and others. We're wondering if there is any other software a group of members would like to buy and install on the Desktop. For example, digital cameras are popular now -- would you be interested in sharing the use and cost of Adobe Photoshop 8.0? It would cost about $900 to install Photoshop, but if even only 100 members are interested, that's only $9 each. Please let us know (by email to execdir@ncf.ca) if there is a software package that you'd like to see shared. If so, we'll try to make it happen by getting people together. (Please note, this would be entirely separate from the NCF Development Fund and sustaining donations.)

Season's greetings,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
execdir@ncf.ca

Update from the NCF Office (2003-Dec-15)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hi,

Here's an update from the NCF office on contributions so far to the NCF Development Fund:

8212 Number of NCF members
127 Number who have contributed to the Development Fund so far

The Development Fund will help NCF improve its modems, keep mail running well, control spam, help people get online, improve web-based tools, support the work of volunteers, and generally make our NCF a great place for members.

For every dollar contributed to the Development Fund, the federal government is offering to also contribute a dollar. For example, if you contribute $10, the federal government will also contribute $10.

NCF relies on your support. Remember, NCF is just a large group of people getting together to share costs, doing something good for themselves and their region.

Especially with the government's offer, I believe this is a good opportunity for NCF members. Please consider contributing $10 or $20.

Here's how to contribute:

- To contribute online using a credit card: NCF has a secure web page at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/donate/fund

- To contribute by mailing a cheque: NCF's office address is: National Capital FreeNet, Room 402 Dunton Tower, Carleton University, Ottawa, K1S 5B6. (Please include your NCF account ID.)

- To contribute at a bank: Tellers at any Bank of Nova Scotia branch will accept cash or a cheque in an envelope labelled: "Carleton University Branch, transit number 00406, Attention: FreeNet, Development Fund". (Please include your NCF account ID.)

The deadline is December 31, but please contribute sooner so that your contribution reaches the office in time.

Cheers,

John

John Selwyn
Executive Director
execdir@ncf.ca

ps. If you missed the email sent last week by Chris Cope (chair of the NCF board of directors) introducing this topic, it can be found at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/board/fund.html

NCF News Update / Actualites de LCN (2003-Nov-24)

La texte francaise se suit en bas.

Hi,

Here's an update on what's happening at FreeNet.

Modems and internet: We've added 46 modems to our pool at Carleton University, for a total of 276 modems that can operate at up to 56Kbps. Feedback has been very positive, though we're investigating what may be compatibility problems for some modem types. Efforts by people with Carleton computer services seem to have solved the backbone congestion troubles earlier this month on the link that connects us and Carleton to the internet.

Spam (the scourge of the internet): I am very excited by the progress of the development team.s efforts on a new spam control system. We are in the final stages of development and early testing is very positive. As the need is so great (as evidenced by member.s stories) and the testers are so enthusiastic, we are doing everything we can to accelerate the test phase. We hope we'll be ready for general usage within a few weeks.

Office hours: NCF office and help desk hours are now 9am to 1pm. This will allow the development team to use the office in the afternoons until Carleton can find more space for us (the 'double cohort' has made space tight at Carleton University, requiring them to reclaim one of the offices we've been using for years).

I hope to be in touch soon about our new NCF spam control system.

Cheers

john

John Selwyn
NCF Executive Director
execdir@ncf.ca
520-2600 ext 8024


Bonjour, Voici une mise à jour sur ce qui se produit au LCN.

Modems et Internet : Nous avons ajouté 46 modems à notre réseau à l'université de Carleton, pour un total de 276 modems qui peuvent fonctionner à jusqu'à 56Kbps. La rétroaction a été très positive, bien que nous étudiions quel peut être des problèmes de compatibilité pour quelques types de modem. Les efforts par des personnes avec des services informatiques de Carleton semblent avoir résolu les ennuis de congestion sur le lien qui nous relie à l'Internet.

Spam (le fléau de l'Internet) : Le nouveau système de commande de Spam de LCN est aux étapes finales du développement et est en examinant tôt. Les « beta testers » sont vraiment enthousiastes (et la demande pressant) ce qui nous encourage beaucoup. Nous espérons que nous serons prêts pour l'utilisation générale dans quelques semaines.

Heures de bureau : Le bureau de LCN et les heures de service de « help desk » sont maintenant 9h à 13h. Ceci permettra l'équipe de développement d'employer le bureau les après-midis jusqu'à ce que Carleton puisse trouver plus d'espace pour nous (le « double cohorte » à rendu l'espace serré à l'université de Carleton, exigeant d'eux de reprendre un des bureaux que nous avions employés pendant des années). J'espère être en contact bientôt au sujet de notre nouveau système de commande de Spam de LCN.

Regards

john

Summer update, and what NCF is doing about spam (2003-Jul-28)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hi,

The internet-wide problem of email 'spam' has had a high profile in some media lately ('spam' is unwanted and often obnoxious email sent by advertisers). Of course many NCF members are also affected by this scrouge. Here's what we're doing about it:

* NCF protects your email address. NCF is owned and supported by its members, not by advertising; NCF does *not* sell or provide email addresses or personal member data to anyone.

* Email from known spam sources is blocked.

* NCF operates a spam identification program called SpamAssassin, allowing each member to set a personal threshold for what is considered to be spam, and how email identified as spam should be handled (available soon to FreePort users too!).

Our statistics tell us that the measures above are good, but some spam is still making it through -- we want to do better. NCF's development team has developed an additional spam control program that is now in testing. I'm quite excited about this because I think it will be useful to many members. It should be ready in two or three months. Until then, thanks for your patience. We're also considering how to support legislation that would address spamming.

If you haven't had a chance to look at NCF's web pages lately, have a look, there's something new! The StartPage is accessible from a link on NCF's main page at http://www.ncf.ca, or you can go directly to the StartPage at http://start.ncf.ca . Thank you to CBC, who has given NCF 'affiliate' status.

After working hard this year on infrastructure, the development team has turned most of their attention now to evolving services directly for members. Parts of the mail system have been revamped, the first version of the StartPage is in operation, and the FreePort computer is being upgraded. There'll be more this autumn, when the team returns to full strength after taking holiday in August.

The new digital lines (installed in June) are working well. We are very pleased by how little maintenance the modems now require.

Best wishes for summer,

Cheers,

John


John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
520-2600 ext 8024

New High-Speed Dialup lines at the NCF (2003-Jun-27)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Monday was an exciting day here at the NCF office, as we celebrated the successful cut-over to our new high-speed dial-up lines. These new 56K digital lines mean we'll have faster and more reliable connections to the Internet. We were able to negotiate favourable terms and have inceased the number of lines to 184 (excluding the lines at Mitel), from 170. Your modem should work as usual but at its fastest possible speed, making web pages, email and updates substantially quicker.

Based on connection statistics this week, two-thirds of us already have the necessary equipment to take advantage of the new 56K bps capabilities. Those that do not have high-speed modems may wish to upgrade to take advantage of the faster NCF modems. I had a quick look at prices in town, and found that 56K internal 'hardware modems' can be purchased for under $50 and 'software modems' ('WinModems') for under $20. A modem retailer should be able to confirm which model you would require for your computer.

It has been great to receive your emails and donations reflecting your confidence and support for the team's efforts. Your support makes all this possible, and helps to make the Nation's Capital a better place.

Hoping that you have a happy Canada Day and enjoy the long weekend,

Cheers

John


John Selwyn
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
520-2600 ext 8024

NCF Upgrades (2003-May-30)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hello NCF members:

Digital dial-up access lines should be installed within a month (June 23rd). Our 170 analog lines at Carleton University will be upgraded to 184 digital lines. Digital lines require less and simpler equipment to terminate at our end, which should translate to more reliable connections (eg., fewer 'ring no answer'). Your modem should still work as usual with no change to your system. If your modem can take advantage of it, the new lines will support up to 56K bps. More modem lines should increase the likelihood of being connected on your first try, especially if everyone continues to share modems wisely.

I would also like to welcome the retired educators association of the Ottawa-Carleton Regional School Board. They have joined NCF as a group.

On Monday, June 2nd, as part of our upgrades, new equipment will be installed to allow for faster and more reliable system operation. During Monday's upgrade, the main NCF web pages and your personal web pages will be unavailable for a few hours, though organizational pages should be unaffected. Access to the internet, email, newsgroups, etc will not be affected. Information about our progress will be posted on the web page at http://start.ncf.ca/ncf/upgrade.html

Cheers

john

John Selwyn
NCF Executive Director
execdir@ncf.ca

General NCF update (2003-Apr-21)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hi!

As of a week ago, after many years of trying, many of NCF's systems are now based upon a modern SQL database. This is a significant milestone for NCF -- it will improve our office efficiency and will make it easier to provide new services. Congratulations to everyone involved, and thank you to Industry Canada (OCRI, SmartCapital) for funding much of this work.

We planned for new modems around now, but there have been delays due to construction and other factors. I am now anticipating the optical fiber will be in place within weeks, and the new modems should be operational four weeks later.

While we wait for new modems, there is something you may be able do to help reduce congestion if you have Windows XP. I use NCF's modems from my computer at home and I recently upgraded to Windows XP. I noticed that XP redials automatically by default if the line is dropped. This feature was causing me to unknowingly occupy a modem in the NCF modem pool for long periods of time. De-selecting this feature has made no difference to my Internet experience. If you are using Windows XP, you can help by doing the following:

  1. Open "Network Connections" (on my machine, to open 'Network Connections', I click on the 'Start' button, click 'Control Panel', click 'Network and Internet Connections', and then click 'Network Connections')
  2. Click the dial-up connection you use for NCF, then, under 'Network Tasks', click 'Change settings of this connection'.
  3. On the 'Options' tab, UNCHECK the "Redial if line is dropped" box

There's big news at the NCF office -- thanks to donations from MetaSolv and Plantronics, visitors to NCF's office will notice that volunteers are now sitting in high quality orthopedic chairs, using Plantronics telephone headsets, and working with high quality computer monitors. We're very grateful for these donations. Our plans are to not only to make NCF efficient and successful for the members but also to make NCF a pleasant and supportive place for office volunteers.

Corel has donated upgrades of their software. We now have the latest Corel Office 2000 and Corel Graphics Suite 11 with CorelDRAW 11. You might want to try Corel PHOTO-PAINT 11 if you have a digital camera. All these applications are available for members on NCF's Internet Desktop.

Carleton University continues to be a significant supporter of the NCF, providing us with facilities and system administration advice.

And most important of all are donations from members. Donations from NCF's members inspire contributions from companies and institutions. Thank you to the thousands of members who donated in the last few months. NCF is all about people getting together to share costs and do something good for the National Capital. When we all contribute, individually the costs per person are small.

I'm feeling pretty good about our NCF, and the value and benefits that we are bringing to individuals in the region. Thanks for your support and patience as we develop new services.

Enjoy the spring!

John Selwyn (NCF executive director)

ps. I'm always interested in feedback. You can reach me at 520-2600 ext 8024 (the NCF office) and by email to execdir@ncf.ca

Modem Update (2002-Dec-6)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hi!

There's a lot going on at NCF, thanks to tremendous support from our members and from our partners. Carleton University has lent us some temporary additional office space, and we're working hard on new services for our National Capital community, funded by Industry Canada (OCRI/SmartCapital) and HRDC.

First, here's an update on the status of our modems. Today we have 168 analog phone lines coming into Carleton University, funded by member donations. Unfortunately, we don't have enough working modems for all of those lines -- eight of the lines have been made 'busy' because we don't have modems to serve them. I've placed an order for eight new modems for those lines.

The 48 lines (16 during office hours) at Mitel, donated by Mitel, are working very well.

In my previous email, I mentioned that for only a few more dollars per year, we could operate digital lines, which are faster (56K bps) and more reliable. Carleton University (host of our modem equipment) will be installing optical fiber this month, and it's an opportunity for us to get digital lines. Replacing all our old analog lines with fast digital lines would increase our operating cost by $1.75 per year per member. From talking with a number of members, I believe most members will think this is worthwhile, and so we're making plans for that. I'm also looking at the price of additional lines to reduce busy signals, making our services more available.

Member donations cover our operating costs, and inspire others to support us in our efforts to do something good for ourselves and our community. Our participation in government programs is helping us modernize our community-oriented software. Text-oriented FreePort is loved by many people, and we are working to create similar community- supporting services for people who use web browsers. I'll talk more about that later.

You can reach me at 520-2600 ext 8024 (the NCF office) or contact me by email at execdir@ncf.ca

Cheers,

John Selwyn (NCF executive director)

ps. Here are some links to additional information:

For the status of NCF modem pools, see http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/ops/modems/poolStatus.html

For a look 'behind the scenes', you can monitor the quality of the modems and what we do to maintain them by looking at http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/ops/modems/portReport.html. This tool was created recently to help us find modem problems.

News about NCF Modems (2002-Nov-25)

Pour une copie francaise de ce texte, S.V.P. en faire la demande électronique à: office@ncf.ca

Hi, I'm John Selwyn, NCF's new Executive Director. We've got some exciting projects underway at NCF, but my first priority since arriving at NCF a month ago has been to improve the reliability and availability of NCF's modems. I'd like to tell you what we've been doing and what to expect.

NCF has about 170 telephone lines at Carleton University funded by member donations, and 48 lines (16 during office hours) donated by Mitel Corporation as a community sponsor. Some of the modem equipment owned by NCF is dated and is becoming unreliable. We've created some tools to help us find problems and do what we can with the existing equipment, and although it is labour-intensive, we've made some progress. We hope you'll find the modems are now more reliable when you get a connection.

Getting a connection instead of a busy signal can be challenging at certain times of the day. This is partly because changes to the modems in the spring disrupted NCF's 'modem sharing system'. The modem sharing system has been updated and will soon be operational again.

Even with modem sharing, I believe we'd be wise as a group to get more lines. Digital technology has dramatically reduced the cost of lines and modems, and improved their quality and speed. For only a few dollars more per member per YEAR, we could have digital lines and increased capacity (fewer busy signals). Should we do it? I think so, and am working out the details.

On a personal note, I am really enjoying involvement in a donation-supported organization, and learning about modems and internet technologies. I'm excited by the potential of new web applications that we are going to be able offer to our region, thanks to tremendous support from members and partnerships and community sponsors. It reminds me of the early days of FreeNet, when FreeNet was the first public internet provider in our region, something that was good for members and the community. I'll send email later when I have more details.

You can reach me at 520-2600 ext 8024 (the NCF office) or contact me by email at execdir@ncf.ca

Cheers,

John

ps. Here are some links to additional information:

For the status of NCF modem pools, see http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/ops/modems/poolStatus.html

For information about modem sharing, see http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/ops/policy/modemSharing.html