Cyber-surfing around town
Local businesses go on-line for free community-access Internet

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 14/97) - Local businesses are sharing resources to provide free Internet access for their customers.

Dubbed "Surf Spots," the project is a collaborative effort designed to get Yellowknifers surfing the Net at their hangouts around town.

"I thought personally it would give the people of the club an introduction to the technology," said Bob Dawe, manager of promotions and events at The Racquet Club.

MicroAge, a local computer dealer and Internet provider, supplied the computer equipment for both The Racquet Club and Javaroma, where the Internet can be accessed.

Internet North provided the Internet connection for the service and Duct Tape Omnimedia constructed the web site used as a surfing starting point.

Dave Gilbert of Duct Tape said that the surf spot is designed to be an introduction to the Internet. "The page itself is just a cover," he said. "It also provides links to the other businesses involved."

The Racquet Club clientele, which includes members of the business community, have been busy on the Net since they went on-line a month ago.

"People can check hockey and baseball scores, as well as stocks," said Dawe. "There's a great practical use for it as well as an entertainment use. It's used regularly."

The partners got the project off the ground in order to provide people with free Internet access.

"Down south, they are usually coin-operated or they have a debit card," said Brendan Bell, owner of Javaroma. "But we really didn't want to charge customers for it."