This document is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, andSpanish. It was translated using Digital's Babelfish service. If you are a native speaker of this language and would like to offer linguistic corrections, please contact me.

A Critical Study of Three Free-Net Community Networks

In Fulfillment of Intel's Robert N. Noyce Technology Summer Internship, 1996

By Ben Stallings, Grinnell College Class of 1998


The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Grinnell College or the National Public Telecomputing Network. Neither organization assumes any responsibility for the content herein.
Note: This paper was made public on November 10, 1996. In order to minimize confusion for those who might like to cite this paper elsewhere, all modifications made since that time are in separate paragraphs and appear in italics. The exception to this policy is the substitution of informants' actual names for their anonymous names (explained in the Purpose and Methods section). The bibliography appears in its up-to-date form, without separate amendments.

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Background Information
  3. Purpose and Methods
  4. The Communities Served by the Free-Nets
    1. Greater Cleveland, Ohio
    2. Calhoun County, Michigan
    3. Worth County, Georgia
  5. The Software and Supporting Hardware Used by the Free-Nets
    1. Features in Common
    2. FreePort
    3. FirstClass
    4. NovaServer
  6. The Free-Nets' Impacts on their Communities
    1. In General
    2. Cleveland Free-Net
    3. Great Lakes Free-Net
    4. Worth County - Sylvester, Georgia Free-Net
  7. Conclusions
  8. Bibliography
  9. Appendices