RoFIntUG faces hard questions
For nostalgic reasons alone it would be nice to see the Roaring Fork Internet Users Group (RoFIntUG) survive indefinitely.
RoFIntUG is our own little Internet pioneer, bringing dial-up service to locals back when the technology was still a relative toddler in 1995.
But the Internet grew up quickly and RoFIntUG is in danger of being left behind in the fast-evolving world of online technology.
Rumors surfaced recently of a possible sale or merger of the nonprofit company with a for-profit company, but board member Joe O’Donnell said it was just the result of some long-range planning. RoFIntUG members will get a chance to hash this out at a special meeting set for 6 p.m. tonight at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.
However, the long-range outlook obviously brought out some hard questions regarding the future of RoFIntUG. The board members responsible should be commended for bringing the issues to the table. The real chore may be answering those questions.
Dial-up Internet service is fast going the way of the dinosaurs and, ideally, RoFIntUG will be able to take its base of 3,500 loyal members, who are also considered part owners of the ISP, and offer a competitive rate for DSL or cable Internet.
Whether this is viable for the nonprofit venture remains to be seen.
It’s possible the provider has accomplished the mission of introducing the Roaring Fork Valley to cyberspace and should now pass on the baton to for-profit providers.
This isn’t necessarily the case, but a sale or merger is preferable to keeping RoFIntUG limping along to a slow death.
If a sale or merger is the only option, RoFIntUG doesn’t have to disappear entirely. The proceeds from the transaction would be well-spent on setting up a computer access fund for children or others in need, further strengthening RoFIntUG’s legacy.
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