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British Columbia Community Networks Association Provincial Server Project

The "provincial server" project is designed to provide more service options for public access sites. Public access sites in BC offer a range of services, from full "community networks" to some that are only Web browsing terminals.

Most of these public facilities were funded either through the Industry Canada Community Access Program or through the Library Services Branch of the Province of British Columbia. It is the desire of both of these organizations that the terminals provide as wide a range of options to your patrons as possible.

What makes a "community network" more than a Web browsing site?

A community network should inter-connect the citizens of its community -- this is what makes it a "network" rather than just a one-way Web-browsing site. The network should provide people with opportunities for public and private self-expression. To this end, the network should give local citizens and community organizations access to tools of communication. Therefore the following functions should be supported:

The above services are provided by the provincial server. If your organization, (community network, Community Access Program site or library) chooses to avail itself of this opportunity, any of your patrons will be able to register for an account. This account will give them a personal Web page and an e-mail address.

It is not BCCNA's intention to enter into competition with any of its member networks. On the contrary, BCCNA is using this project as a showcase of options. Some will not need these services at all as they are already offering all of these options. Some may be able to do so in the future. BCCNA realizes, however, that some will not be able to provide the necessary hardware and software or be able to call on knowledgeable enough volunteers to provide these functions for the foreseeable future. It is not BCCNA's intention to accept account applications from communities where a member community network already provides full service.

This project is a partnership and a service to member organizations, it supplements what they are already providing. Please help to publicize and support it. In particular, we ask that you assist non-profit societies in your community to use the provincial server as a location for posting their information on the World Wide Web. In fact, if you wish, we can arrange a "virtual domain" for you so that your patron's e-mail addresses and Web page URLs will reflect your community.

The British Columbia Internet Association endorses this project because they realize that it is offering opportunities to all citizens, not just those who have computers at home and can afford to pay for personal connectivity through an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The new service will use the bilingual Chebucto Suite (Csuite) community network software developed jointly by the Chebucto Community Network and the Computer Science Department of Dalhousie University in Hlaifax.

We wish to acknowledge the support of our sponsors, Hewlett Packard Canada, the British Columbia "Communities Connect" program and Industry Canada's Community Access program.

For further information and assistance with offering these services, please contact BCCNA at 1-888-727-2226 or by e-mail at bccna@bccna.bc.ca