1-13-05 CONTACT: Wally Bowen, 828-255-0182
Internet service launched
by progressive nonprofit
A nonprofit nationwide Internet service has been launched to serve dial-up Internet users who support media reform and the creation of a vigorous independent media.
Marketed under the name IndyLink, the service is aimed at value-conscious Internet users who also want to avoid the commercial clutter and privacy risks of corporate services such as AOL and Earthlink. IndyLink is a service of the North Carolina-based nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN), which has been providing dial-up Internet access since 1996. MAIN currently has more than 4,000 subscribers in western North Carolina.
"IndyLink gives dial-up Internet users the option of putting their dollars where their values are, rather than having those dollars go to support a corporate media system that is not serving the needs of a democratic society," said Wally Bowen, a veteran media activist and founder of MAIN and its low-power FM radio arm, MAIN-FM, the Progressive Voice of the Mountains.
"The Internet-access industry has undergone mergers and consolidation like other media industries, and the emerging business model is to harvest and sell personal information while pushing more and more targeted ads at subscribers," Bowen said.
"Because IndyLink is provided by a nonprofit organization, we don't rely on advertising revenue to survive. This allows us to provide a non-commercial 'oasis' where subscribers can enjoy greater privacy protection and lower cost," Bowen said.
"Creating a truly democratic media includes support for more non-commercial,
not-for-profit media," said Robert W. McChesney, a leading media scholar and
founder of the Free Press media reform coalition. "IndyLink is an excellent
example of how citizens can support nonprofit media with their Internet
dollars," he said.
Launching a national dial-up service when the whole world seems to be moving to high-speed cable and DSL may seem counterintuitive, said Bowen. "But our marketing research shows that dial-up will be a viable option for cost and privacy-conscious subscribers for years to come," he said.
Priced at $14.95 a month, IndyLink service is about 30 percent less than AOL and Earthlink, while offering comparable spam and virus filtering and a dial-up "accelerator" which can produce download speeds up to five times faster than conventional dial-up service.
"IndyLink operates on the same telecommunications infrastructure used by corporate ISPs, so our service is just as reliable. In addition, we have one of the most experienced tech-support staffs in the Internet industry because we provide living-wage jobs and turnover is low. We don't outsource our tech support in order to take advantage of low-wage workers in developing countries," Bowen said.
"For citizens wanting to support non-commercial Internet alternatives to
monopolistic telecom providers, IndyLink offers not only excellent and
affordable Web services, but represents a new and exciting direction for
21st-century public-interest telecom policy," said Rob Williams, president
of the media reform group, Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME).
Via its homepage, IndyLink also offers a daily digest of progressive news and information gleaned by IndyLink staff and volunteers from across the World Wide Web.
"We believe the IndyLink homepage will quickly become a 'must see' stop for progressive activists and citizens who are looking for news content under-reported by mainstream media," Bowen said.
Information about IndyLink and its services can be found at http://www.indylink.org. To contact IndyLink, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-866-962-6246.