Interest In the Free-Net
Although most people (60.5%) said they had never heard of the Free-Net prior to the survey, a broad spectrum of support for the Free-Net emerged from the data. Among all education levels, the majority of respondents stated that they were interested in using the Free-Net (Figure 10). Except those with technical certificates or diplomas, more than 81% of people in all educational levels showed their support of the Free-Net concept. Among people with technical certificates support was only 67%.
Figure 10: Percent of respondents from each educational level who expressed an interest in using the Free-Net (excluding "no" and "don't know" responses).
The same high level of support was found among all age groups under 55. Support in all age categories from 13 to 54 for use of the Free-Net ranged in to 84-92% range. Only in the 55-64 and 64-75 age groups did a minority of respondents express an interest in using the Free-Net.
Among the lower income groups, less that $10,000 household income and $10,000-15,000, the level of support was 100%. Among higher income groups is ranged from 78% to 93%.
When sorted by gender, males were more interested in using the Free-Net than females. 90.3% of men expressed such an interest compared to 73.7% of females.
Potential Commitment to the Free-Net
People do seem prepared to back up this interest with their pocketbooks. When asked what they thought was a fair annual donation, 25% of respondents suggested a donation in the $50-100 range. Another 20% felt that $25-49 was an appropriate range. Over half of respondents felt that an annual donation above $25 was a fair one. As well, 53% of respondents said that they were willing to make such a donation. Only 15% said "No" when asked, "Would you be willing to make a donation to help cover the operating expenses of the Free-Net?".
Figure 11: Percent of respondents from each age level who expressed an interest in using the Free-Net (excluding "no" and "don't know" responses).
Figure 12: Percent of respondents from each household income level who expressed an interest in using the Free-Net (excluding "no" and "don't know" responses).
Current Internet Access
26% of respondents already have Internet access, Of these, 32% have access from home, 55% from work, and 28% through school. People who have current Internet access through home, work or school are even more willing to access the Free-Net. 95% of these people stated their interest in using the Free-Net compared with only 76% of people without Internet access. People who have access through home or school were unanimous in their support for the Free-Net while 90% of the people who connected through work felt they would use the Free-Net.
Figure 13: Percent of respondents by gender who expressed an interest in using the Free-Net (excluding "no" and "don't know" responses).
Both those with and without Internet access were about as likely to give a donation to the Free-Net (65% for those with access compared to 60%) but people with Internet access were generally prepared to give a slightly larger donation. Internet users were more likely to become members of the Free-Net (45.6% compared to 33.6%), and felt that larger membership fees were in order (57.7% felt fees above $25 were in order, compared to 39% for those without access). People with current access were slightly more prepared to volunteer time to the Free-Net (37% compared to 31%).
Among those with only e-mail access (20% of those with Internet access), 100% were interested in using the Free-Net, but were less likely to give a donation (58.3% compared to 69.4%). Full access users were also more likely to take out membership (55.6% compared with 41.7%). Those with less access were also much 60.5more undecided about their responses.
Recognition of the Great Plains Free-Net
Growth of the Free-Net movement depends on community involvement. 32.3%--almost a third of respondents said that they were interested in becoming a member. 69% of these people felt that a membership fee of between $10 and $49 was appropriate with numbers evenly split between the $10-24 range and $25-49. As well, 28.2% indicated their interest in volunteering time to help with the Free-Net.
22% of respondents claimed they had heard of the Great Plains Free-Net before the survey. Most of these obtained their knowledge through the newspaper, friends and colleagues, and in the workplace.
Figure 14: Relative sources of knowledge among those respondents who are familiar with the Great Plains Free-Net.
Numbers do not add up to 100 because some individuals have access from more than one location.