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Community Access Fund (CAF)

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The Community Access Fund was launched in December 2016 but builds on NCF's history. The Fund will help provide high speed Internet services to people in our community who may have difficulty affording and/or accessing it.

The CAF will include a number of specific projects and services.

Ottawa Community Housing Partnership - New Community Access Plan

NCF has just announced a new Community Access plan for all Ottawa Community Housing tenants.

The plan includes our high-speed DSL internet up to 6mbps, including unlimited usage and free line installation for $25.00 + HST/month.

Those without a land-line phone service will also need a dry line, which costs an additional $5.00 + HST per month. They will also need to purchase a modem.

This service was launched on Tuesday, 3 January 2017. Full details of the community access plan are on the NCF website.

Anyone who wants to be contacted about the plan when it becomes available should call: 613-721-8445 to leave a message with their name and contact information or email: caf@ncf.ca.

Some CAF-OCH Details

  1. Applicants for the special offer must be existing OCH tenants. Their DSL install address must validate against the OCH housing list.
  2. All other DSL plans are available to OCH tenants, but the special rate applies only to the 6M unlimited plan.
  3. There are no special prices on new modems as part of this offering . However the following options exist:
    1. Purchase a new modem outright - normal approach
    2. Purchase a new modem in 3 equal installments
    3. Purchase one of our used modems

Official Press Release

Local ISP offers low rate and unlimited usage for Community Housing tenants December 20, 2016

As part of its mandate to promote affordable online access, National Capital FreeNet is now offering a $25.00/month internet plan with unlimited use for all Ottawa Community Housing tenants.

Founded in 1992, NCF is a local, not-for-profit internet service provider. It has served more than 100,000 members. In the 1990s, it was how many people in the region first got online, through dial-up phone connections.

Now, NCF offers high-speed internet with download speeds from 6mbps to 50mbps as well as free locally-hosted email, basic web-hosting, computer workshops, and support from an award-winning volunteer-driven HelpDesk. They also still offer free dial-up, for those that want it.

The Community Access Fund plan for Ottawa Community Housing tenants includes a 6mbps speed DSL connection with unlimited usage, free line installation, and no contract. It is possible in part to a gift from the estate of one of NCF's first members, Gunther Abrahamson, and due to ongoing donations from many of their other members.

"NCF has always worked to ensure everyone in the region can get online," said NCF Executive Director Shelley Robinson. "For us that means we offer affordable rates and want to help people understand how to use the internet. This is building on that work."

She added that NCF is offering unlimited usage as part of the Community Access Fund plan because too often, low-income users are stuck with low bandwidth packages and high charges for additional bandwidth that restricts what they can do online.

"We know people rely on the internet to do everything from searching for jobs and accessing government services, to doing homework, and watching TV shows with their families."

Robinson notes that while they are starting with Ottawa Community Housing tenants, they hope to expand the offering to other low-income groups in the future.

But she also says she hopes other people in the region will consider switching to a local provider. "The same way folks appreciate buying from farmers' markets, we are an alternative to big commercial internet providers that care more about their profits than their community."

The Community Access Fund plan will be available to order on 3 January 2017 as NCF starts to celebrate its 25th anniversary serving the region.

For more information, to sign-up for the Community Access Fund plan or another of NCF's high-speed internet packages, or to support the NCF Community Access Fund, please contact:

  • Shelley Robinson
  • Executive Director
  • National Capital FreeNet
  • 613-721-1773
  • shelley@ncf.ca