Monday, October 26, 2009

Get Hands On E-Business Coaching in Muskoka

Learn How To Strengthen Your Business with E-Business!
For complete information on this opportunity visit the Muskoka Enterprise Centre website

Important: Register before October 28th, 2009

More on the E-Business Learning Series in Muskoka:

E-Business is the use of Internet technology to strengthen your business. The E-Business learning series helps demonstrate that not all e-business activities have to be complex or costly to achieve benefits. Small Businesses that are new to the world of E-business will find information and tools that will help them get started.

Course Outline and Topics:

E-Business - Getting Started
  • Find competitive information on-line
  • Learn about free software
  • Learn how to protect your business with privacy, security and legal issues
  • Learn how to work with web developers
  • Creating or enhance your web presence
  • Defining e-business
  • Are you ready for E-Business?

E-Business Marketing

  • Purchasing and selling on-line
  • On-line display advertising
  • Search engine optimization
  • Internet auctions and virtual malls
  • Social networking
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • E-exporting

E-Business & Your Current Systems

  • Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)
  • Integrating back-end systems with E-business
  • Customer relationship management

Morning or Afternoon!
Morning E-Business Learning Series
Time: 9:00a.m.-12:30p.m. November 3rd, 4th, 10th, 12th, 16th, 19th, 2009
Location: Bracebridge Town Office, 1000 Taylor Court, Bracebridge

Afternoon E-Business Learning Series
Time: 1:00p.m.-4:30p.m. November 3rd, 4th, 10th, 12th, 16th, 19th, 2009
Location: Bracebridge Town Office, 1000 Taylor Court, Bracebridge

Registration Required! IMPORTANT- Register Before October 28th, 2009!
Course Fee $75.00 per person (or $25.00 per half day session*)
* Email MSBC for a break down of individual half day sessions!

Ways to Register:
Email: email your completed Registration Form to
Phone: Contact Melissa Stoneman, Events Coordinator # 705-646-9021 to register

Fax your completed Registration Form to #705-645-1262

Space is limited, register today to reserve your spot in the course! IMPORTANT!- Register Before October 28th, 2009

For more information on broadband and technology in Muskoka, visit the Muskoka Community Network website at

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CRTC requires ISPs to be more transparent about their Internet traffic management practices.

October 21, 2009
News release

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today introduced a new framework to guide Internet service providers (ISPs) in their use of Internet traffic management practices. The Commission is also requiring ISPs to inform consumers of their practices, which will help them to make more informed decisions about the Internet services they purchase and use.

"Canada is the first country to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to Internet traffic management practices," said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. "The centrepiece of our approach is a framework of analysis that will be employed to determine whether economic and technical practices are acceptable."

"More and more, the Internet is serving as the backbone for communication, commerce, governance, health, education and entertainment. Our framework will foster an environment where ISPs, application providers and users have the utmost freedom to innovate," added Mr. von Finckenstein.

ISPs will be required to inform retail customers at least 30 days, and wholesale customers at least 60 days, before an Internet traffic management practice takes effect. At that time, ISPs will need to describe how the practice will affect their customers' service.

To meet the changing needs of Internet users, the Commission encourages ISPs to make investments to increase network capacity as much as possible. However, the Commission realizes that ISPs may need other measures to manage the traffic on their networks at certain times.

Whenever possible, ISPs should give preference to Internet traffic management practices based on economic measures. These practices are the most transparent as they are clearly identified on monthly bills. With this information, consumers can compare between different Internet services and match their bandwidth needs with the amount they are willing to pay.
Technical means to manage traffic, such as traffic shaping, should only be employed as a last resort.

The Commission has also adopted special rules for ISPs that provide services on a wholesale basis to their competitors. These are necessary to ensure that ISPs do not use Internet traffic management practices to cause competitive harm to their wholesale customers. For both the retail and wholesale markets, the Commission will use its new framework to review practices that raise concerns or generate complaints.

Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-657

Reference documents:

News release, "CRTC opens online consultation on Internet traffic management practices," March 31, 2009

News release, "CRTC denies CAIP application, but will examine Internet traffic management practices," November 20, 2008

Backgrounder on the CRTC's framework for Internet traffic management practices
A growing number of Canadians are using the Internet for all sorts of purposes, whether they are furthering their education, creating innovative applications or starting businesses. In Canada, Internet traffic grew at an average rate of 43 per cent every year between 2005 and 2008. Internet service providers (ISPs) must sometimes manage the flow of data on their networks to prevent or respond to congestion, and to ensure that all users receive an acceptable Internet service. ISPs can employ a range of economic and technical tools to manage Internet traffic.

Key definitions

a) Economic Internet traffic management practices
ISPs can choose to manage traffic through economic measures. This means that they could charge consumers rates based on how much bandwidth they use each month, or offer discounts during off-peak hours. These practices allow consumers to make informed decisions based on how much bandwidth they want or need, and what they are willing to pay.

b) Technical Internet traffic management practices
ISPs can also use technical measures to manage traffic. These could include slowing down or prioritizing certain types of Web traffic (known as traffic shaping), as well as limiting the bandwidth of heavy users.

c) Retail Internet services
ISPs offer these services, which provide access to the Internet, directly to customers. Internet traffic management practices can affect the performance of a user's Internet services.

d) Wholesale Internet services
Many ISPs purchase bandwidth from telephone or cable companies to provide Internet services to customers. Certain traffic management practices, when applied to wholesale services, can prevent ISPs from offering distinctive services.

CRTC framework
The Commission has established a set of criteria to determine whether an Internet traffic management practice is acceptable. In the Commission's view, a practice should only be implemented if:

  • it is designed to address a valid purpose, such as preventing congestion on an Internet network
  • it is as narrowly tailored as possible to achieve the desired result, using the least restrictive means
  • it causes as little harm as possible to the customer, application provider or the ISP that is a wholesale customer, and
  • network investments or economic approaches would not effectively achieve the same purpose.

Consumer notification and privacy
If an ISP adopts a technical measure to manage traffic, such as traffic shaping, it must inform its customers in advance. This information must be displayed clearly and prominently on its website, and must describe:

  • why it is being introduced
  • who will be affected
  • when it will occur
  • what type of Internet traffic is subject to the management practice,
  • how it will affect a user's Internet experience, including the specific impact on speeds.

Furthermore, the Commission has established privacy provisions for ISPs that provide retail Internet services. Certain technologies associated with Internet traffic management practices can collect and use personal information without the knowledge or consent of consumers. As an added protection for consumers, the Commission has directed ISPs not to disclose this information or use it for any other purpose.

ISP actions affecting content
According to the Telecommunications Act, a telecommunications company must obtain the Commission's prior approval to "control the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications" carried over its network. The Commission does not consider such disruptive actions to be proper Internet traffic management practices, and they will always require prior approval.

An ISP would therefore need to seek the Commission's approval before it implemented a practice that would:

  • block the delivery of content to an end-user, or
  • slow down time-sensitive traffic, such as videoconferencing or Internet telephone (Voice over Internet Protocol) services, to the extent that the content is degraded.

When faced with these requests, the Commission will only grant its approval in the most exceptional cases.

Mobile wireless services
The Commission intends to review, at a future date, the regulatory measures that apply to wireless service providers and their use of Internet traffic management practices. In recent years, mobile wireless services have been the fastest growing component of the telecommunications industry. The number of subscribers in Canada has nearly doubled from 11.3 million in 2003 to 22.1 million in 2008. Traffic on mobile networks has also been rising as more consumers access the Internet through smartphones and other multimedia devices. Capacity on wireless networks is currently more limited than on other types of networks and an increase in traffic is likely to lead to congestion.


For more information on broadband and technology in Muskoka, visit the Muskoka Community Network website at

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

YWCA Muskoka Youth Intern Posting

YWCA Muskoka
October 2009

Intern, Youth Eco-Internship Program

Terms: This position is a nine month contract internship placement under the Youth Eco Internship Project and funded through YWCA Canada.

The candidate will be an employee of YWCA Canada, under the supervision and direction of YWCA Muskoka.

The position is scheduled to start November 1, 2009 and is based on 35 hours per week.

Classification: Project Related Staff
Reports to: Beth Ward, Executive Director
Rate of pay: $12/hr Hours: November 2009 – July 2010, 35 hours/week

This position will research and assess the technological needs of YWCA Muskoka providing recommendations on how to green the organization. This includes the use of technology to support virtual meetings; using internet and intranet applications for information sharing best practices; upgrading the website and training staff in the use of new systems. This position will address environmental protection with a focus on improving waste management; human and environmental health and safety; reducing travel; and environmental sustainability through education and communications.

Position Responsibilities include:
• Assess current technology equipment and capacity
• Research organizational communications to support a virtual staffing model
• Develop educational sessions on internet safety and environment stewardship for youth programs (boys & girls ages 9 – 18) and adult employment programs
• Improve existing website design and function
• Examine opportunities for social networking to enhance programs and membership services
• Assist in the creation of a budget and implementation plan for technology upgrades
• Complete a final report
• Access community partnerships and resources as required
• Participate in staff meetings, training and strategic planning sessions as required

• 18 – 30 years old. Some post-secondary education an asset
• Strong communication skills
• Demonstrated proficiency in computer skills
• A well developed interest or educational background in current technology
• An interest or educational background in environmental studies
• An interest in making a difference in the lives of youth and women in Muskoka

Please apply before noon on Monday, October 26. Send cover letter and resume to:
Beth Ward, Executive Director
YWCA Muskoka,
440 Ecclestone Drive, Bracebridge, ON, P1L 1Z6
Fax: 705-645-4804


For more information on broadband and technology in Muskoka, visit the Muskoka Community Network website at

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Get Help for E-Business

Broadband for E-Business and Marketing (BEAM)Broadband for E-Business and Marketing (BEAM)

About BEAM
Application Form
Local Web Developers
For More Information

The utilization of broadband by Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) is as important as broadband access itself. To fully leverage the economic benefit of broadband access, SME’s must not only use broadband, they must transform their businesses.

Muskoka Community Network (MCN) will assist SME's with the transitioning to E-Business and implementing E-Business tools by either establishing your business on the web or by adding E-Business tools to your current website. MCN will provide a financial contribution to implement E-Business tools.

BEAM is a program that assists SME's to adopt and adapt to E-Business by defining goals and measuring outcomes of E-Business implementation, and metrics to measure the success of deliverables in an easily understandable fashion.

BEAM is designed to assist SME's so that they can easily manage implementing E-Business technology into their business, while leaving the technical development to their chosen developer.

Eligible applicants may receive up to 75% of the supported costs of development, to a maximum of $2000. Supported costs include the design, development, and implementation costs of a BEAM component. This program is available for a limited time and you may apply for assistance while funds last.

Information for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Interested in taking the first steps towards E-Business but not sure where to begin? MCN's BEAM program is a great place to start.

High-speed internet access allows SME’s to engage in today’s digital economy. However, more than a broadband connection is required to be fully involved in E-Business. Most SME’s today can benefit from many of the digital tools and techniques that are available to conduct business in the online world. These digital tools are more involved than having a website or using e-mail. Online E-Business tools include components such as E-commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Optimization, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Product fulfillment, Business to Business (B2B) Transactions, and Analytics.

MCN works with SME's to provide assistance for implementing E-Business tools and techniques. Many SME’s understand the importance of E-Business and still require assistance with the knowledge required for implementation.

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  • Businesses operating on a full-time basis, with a minimum annual sales of $35,000, are eligible.

  • Seasonal businesses, such as tourism operations, are also considered eligible.

  • Non-profit organizations may also apply for assistance.

  • For the purposes of this program, contributions will only be provided to qualifying SME's within Northern Ontario.

Application Form

Download the Application Form in Adobe Acrobat format. This file contains both the BEAM application form and the MCN Disclosure and Release Form.

Muskoka Web Developers

(note: listing only includes web developers that have provided their infomation to Muskoka Community Network.)

For more information

Call, write or Email
Muskoka Community Network
Attention: Shannan Boothby

440 Ecclestone Dr. Unit C4

Bracebridge, ON P1L 1Z6
(705) 646.9044

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For more information on broadband and technology in Muskoka, visit the Muskoka Community Network website at

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Muskoka Gets Broadband in 4 More Areas



MUSKOKA, Ontario ─ October 9, 2009 ─ Muskoka Community Network (MCN) is pleased to announce that high speed internet has arrived for the first time in the remote areas of:

· Springdale Park, Bracebridge
· Minors Bay, Township of Georgian Bay
· South Bay, Township of Georgian Bay
· Brunel Road, Near Whitehouse Road, Huntsville

“Downloading and sending large documents took an incredible amount of time,” said Bill Cowan a resident of Whitehouse Road. “The arrival of high speed in my neighborhood has made everything much easier.”

MCN is working to bring broadband to approximately 15 more areas of Muskoka.
Service is presently being expanded in the Townships of Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay, as well as the Towns of Huntsville, Gravenhurst and Bracebridge. Please check for more information.

Connected to Date

To date, Muskoka Community Network has successfully coordinated the arrival of high speed internet in 28 previously unserviced locations, including the first nation community of Moose Deer Point.

Within Bracebridge:
Clear Lake; Portions of Falkenburg Station; Springdale Park; Stephenson Road 1 near Highway 11; Outlying areas of Taylor Road

Within the Township of Georgian Bay:
Baxter; South of the town of Mactier; West of the town of Mactier; Minors Bay; South Bay

Within Gravenhurst:
Barkaway; West Gravenhurst; Housey Rapids; Port Stanton; Ryde

Within Huntsville
Brunel Road – near Whitehouse road; Clearwater Lake Road (Port Sydney); Deer Lake Road (North); Lake Waseosa; Lancelot; Madill Church – just south of Huntsville

Within Lake of Bays:
Bella Lake; Blue Lake; Parts of Camp Lake; Hillside; Tasso Lake; Toad Lake

Within First Nations Communities:
Moose Deer Point

This newly established wireless broadband coverage is expected to reach 80 per cent of the unserved population within these areas. Coverage will continue to improve as more towers come online.

Residents within these communities, or areas, who would like to determine if they are eligible for high speed wireless on this network, can contact a Core Broadband reseller. To find a Core Broadband reseller visit and click on ISP’S (internet service providers).

Residents can also find a complete list of ISP’s IN MUSKOKA by visiting

Making the Most of High Speed

While the majority of people use high speed for e-mail and browsing the web, there are many more applications available.

To help Muskokans learn about these possibilities MCN provides classroom style workshops for businesses, organizations and individuals who want to grow their tech capacity. Topics include Planning Your Website, How to Profit from E-Business and Technology Management.

MCN also provides online training through its virtual training centre. There are over 450 titles to choose from, including word processing, accounting, spreadsheets and even graphic design. Subscribers including businesses, government and individual residents are currently learning in this environment. All you need is a high speed internet connection and a desire to learn. These online courses are FREE to Muskokans

Still on Dial Up?

Residents without high speed internet service are asked to let MCN know precisely where they are. Individuals can do so by dialing 705-646-9044, or by completing the “I Need Broadband” form located online at

For businesses unable to get high speed through existing means, MCN offers financial assistance to establish a satellite broadband connection. Through MCNs Satellite Internet Remote Areas (SIRA) program, qualifying businesses may receive up to 75 per cent of the supported costs of equipment and installation (up to $1000)

About FedNor

FedNor is a federal regional development organization in Ontario that works with a variety of partners, as both a facilitator and catalyst, to help create an environment in which communities can thrive, businesses can grow and people can prosper.

To date, MCN has secured 2.5 million dollars in public funding from FedNor. 1.7 million dollars was secured for broadband alone. Additional funding has been allocated towards improving online communications for our communities, and providing training on how best to leverage online opportunities.

About Muskoka Community Network

Muskoka Community Network (MCN) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to facilitating the implementation of telecommunications solutions for the regions of Muskoka and Almaguin, by working with and forming partnerships with both the public and private sectors.


For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Rob McPhee
Muskoka Community Network


Alison Withey
Blue Whale Communications Inc.


For more information on broadband and technology in Muskoka, visit the Muskoka Community Network website at

What type of internet connection do you have?