From: Michael Gillespie 

Here is text of Memorandum of Understanding signed at TC97 between
Telecommunities Canada and Industry Canada:


                         Framework for Co-Operation
              Telecommunities Canada (TC) and Industry Canada

               to enhance the ability of Canadian communities
                    to utilize electronic public space.


In developing this framework both parties agree that:

   *  all Canadians should be able to participate effectively in
      community-based communications and share the new tools of
      electronic information;

   *  community-based communications encompass both community networks
      and community access sites;

   *  a community network should inter-connect the citizens of its
      community and provide them with opportunities for public and
      private self-expression;

   *  community networks support both geographical and virtual
      communities and thus strengthen and help to define the diverse
      communities of Canada;

   *  community networks consider public access sites and other special
      efforts as essential to ensuring that those who face various
      barriers to effective participation in electronic public space and
      the use of on-line services are given special consideration and
      assistance, including the disabled, the disadvantaged and those
      unskilled in the use of new communications tools;

   *  an effective national community networking organization is
      required to undertake a number of activities and roles which are
      not possible at the community level.

TC and Industry Canada will work together closely to enhance the cause of
community networking in Canada by taking the following cooperative actions:

   *  Provide, with the assistance of the regional associations, on
      going support for Community Networks/Community Access sites across

   *  Jointly seek the support and advice of all stakeholders to further
      develop and define community based communications.

   *  Devise criteria for evaluating the level and types of service
      needed to properly serve the needs of communities.

   *  Assist Community Access Program sites to expand their services to
      become full community networks and assist community  networks  to
      establish public access points where these are not now available.

   *  Jointly explore and promote opportunities to enhance the long term
      development  and sustainability of community networks/community
      access sites.

   *  Assist, in consultation with the developers of the Chebucto Suite
      software,  with the administration and support required to
      maximize its benefit to Community Networks and community access

   *  Promote development of partnerships with the small business,
      industry, non-profit and governmental sectors.

   *  Help communities better anticipate the emerging information
      highway and universal access policy priorities of the federal,
      provincial and municipal governments and to participate in policy
      development that relates to community and community networking

   *  Raise awareness about and foster public discussion about how
      effective use of telecommunications and the new media can help in
      community development and assist communities in retaining their
      autonomy and choosing their own directions.

   *  Identify, and jointly act to address, essential consultative,
      research and policy priorities.

   *  Describe governance model(s) that communities can apply to their
      own circumstances for the design and utilization of local
      electronic public space as a public commons.

   *  Ensure that the lessons learned from experience can be turned into
      common practices that can be shared among communities.

   *  Telecommunities Canada will undertake to advise the Government of
      Canada,  in partnership with Industry Canada, on questions
      relating to citizen access and electronic public space, and the
      impact of transition to electronic public services.

   *  Telecommunities Canada and Industry Canada will work together on
      the international front to help other countries to better
      appreciate the benefits of community participation in achieving
      greater connectedness in open systems and the implementation
      options they have.

Electronic public space is a shared learning space. It is the community
that is the network, not the technology. The creation of a community
network extends the idea of community into a shared electronic public
space, a new not-for-profit transaction space, where the impact on
community values and social interaction is worked out in new ways. The role
of community networking is to turn experience of that transition into

The purpose of public access points is to ensure that all citizens not only
those who can afford their own personal equipment and connections, can
access the on-line resources offered by community  networks and their
service providers.

Telecommunities Canada is an association of associations that expresses
the collective interests of members and provides a means for them to
connect in joint action. Telecommunities Canada s primary role is to find
the means of rendering local community network learning into a common
knowledge base that is generally accessible to anyone who might want to
use it. Community networks are grassroots organizations. Their continuing
growth depends on sustaining self-organized local initiatives.
Telecommunities Canada assists electronic community networks in
augmenting the means available to communities to participate in and
control the socio-economic and political restructuring that affects them.

Industry Canada is the federal government department which is, inter alia,
the focal point for implementing the provisions of the Telecommunications
Act and for accelerating the roll-out of the information highway in Canada.


   *  This cooperative effort will start no later than August 31, 1997
      and will be jointly reviewed by both parties to determine
      accomplishments on every anniversary until 2001.

   *  This framework will be announced mutually as convenient and
      subsequent announcements will provide for joint participation and

   *  The operational details of this framework will be jointly
      discussed and  agreed upon by both parties before December 31,

Date: 17 August 1997                  Date: 17 August 1997

Telecommunities Canada Inc.           Industry Canada

Per:  Michael Gillespie               Per:    Michael Binder
      President                               Asst Deputy Minister

      Jon Hall