Chebucto Community Net
Although members of the Chebucto Board have played important roles in
supporting other communities in the Province as well as in contributing to
regional, provincial and national organizations, 1996 was the first year
CCN assigned a Board Position to the task of External Relations. It
appears there will be a continuing need for such a position and the need
is likely to grow. However, the role of this Board Member is likely to
change from year to year depending on the focus Chebucto wishes to take
with respect to other organizations to which it belongs. For instance
this year because CCN is hosting the Telecommunities Canada annual
conference, this activity is occupying much of this Board Members time. A
second emphasis has been the participation in the Industry Canada
Community Access Program Advisory Committee which is responsible for
funding rural communities wishing to provide community access either
through a net or access site(s). In addition to being on the CAP
committee, membership is also held on the Executive of the Nova Scotia
Federation of Community Nets and the Board of Telecommunities Canada and I
have links with NovaKnowledge and the Provinces Technology Recycling
Program. The latter program is now being used by Doug Rigby as a source
of equipment for Chebucto's Public Access Sites.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank David Murdoch one of the
founding members of Chebucto who has spent many hours in Chebucto's
Broadening the Reach of Chebucto
During the year several Board members worked with three organizations
encouraging them to participate in Chebucto. The first of these is the
Pier 21 Society, the second is the Native Council and the third the
Halifax Regional Development Agency. In the case of Pier 21 Robert Adams
had previously worked with them in assessing their needs and assisting
them in their preliminary efforts. At this point David Trueman and Ben
Armstrong are assisting this organization which has rather special needs.
Following initial meetings with representatives of the Native Council Doug
Rigby has arranged for HTML training.
Nova Scotia Federation of Community Nets (NSFCN)
Chebucto is one of the founding members of NSFCN and has played a major
role in its activities. In fact the incentive for NSFCN came from the
initial CCN working group which saw a need for support for other
communities in Nova Scotia wishing to develop community nets. At this
point as one of the three CCN representatives, I am the Vice Chair.
Because the Chair is located in Yarmouth, I am often required to assume
the role of Chair.
As a result of the role Chebucto plays in NSFCN, during the year CCN has
provided support for two community nets which are now up and running -
Windsor/Western Hants and Colchester - and for a number of other
communities which are at earlier stages of development - Chester,
Bridgewater and Pictou. It is important to distinguish between the
technical support which is provided to these communities by Chebucto which
is the role of the Technical Committee and the organizational support role
which is provided by External Relations. During the early stages of
development I attended nearly all of the meetings of the new community
groups. As the community organizations have matured the contact has been
much less frequent.
Chebucto has been an active member of the Telecommunities Canada (TC)
organization since its inception in 1994. At the 96 Conference in
Edmonton I was elected to the Board of Directors with responsibility for
the Atlantic Region. At this point there are no official members of TC
and all community nets are encouraged to participate. Membership status
is likely to be a topic for discussion at the 97 Annual Meeting. With the
growth of the Community Access Sites funded by Industry Canada a new
source of membership is emerging and it is hoped TC will be recognized as
the umbrella organization for all such groups. At this point all of the
larger community nets in the country are members but participation is
TC97 Aug 15th - 18th
Since last September the Planning Committee has been meeting bi-weekly.
At this point we have concluded arrangements for the facilities at
Dalhousie; prepared and distributed a call for presentations; begun
preliminary negotiations with major sponsors: Industry Canada, mbanx and
Sympatico; established a WEB site; begun work on registration arrangements
and a communications plan. Last year at the Annual Meeting we called for
volunteers and we are doing so again this year. We particularly require a
treasurer, people to assist with the program and people to participate in
a number of functions during the conference.
We will be having a session for IPs and all will be invited to attend. A
number of the groups will be asked to make short presentations to outline
their uses of Chebucto and the benefits to their organizations.
We are pleased to report that Industry Canada is intending to use the
Halifax Conference as an opportunity to consult on the recommendations of
the Information Highway Access Committee which will be publishing its
report in May.
We hope that a significant number of the Chebucto members will take
advantage of the conference to meet others from Canada as well as from a
number of countries to discuss community networking and its role in
Presentations on Community Networking
During the year there were a number of presentations at which
demonstrations of Chebucto were featured. David Trueman. David Murdoch
and I will be making a presentation on community networking at the Topshee
Conference to be held on June 22.