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Program Basics

  • Program Name: ISP Program
  • Program Description:

This program is to act as a "front end" for Whiz to Coho, acting as a virtual ISP for freekbox owners.

  • What best describes this program? Primarily income generating
  • Why does Free Geek need this program?

ISP's that support linux are relatively few. By supporting the ISP functions directly, we would be able to distinguish between linux issues and ISP issues, and fix both asap, ending the "tech support ping pong" that end users often suffer.

Job Position Basics

  • Would there be a dedicated staff position associated with this program? Merged into tech support
  • Position Title: Tech Support Coordinator
  • Job Description:

<Current tech support description>

Costs and potential costs

  • What are the expected financial staffing costs of the program? (Include all costs to the organization such as salary, payroll taxes, and benefits.)

Direct support time would eventually rise, possibly to 40 hours per week depending on need, but would start with the 3-4 hours per day, expanded to 5 days a week. (20 man hours). Currently direct dedicated support time is 12 hours per week.

  • What other costs are associated with the program? (Include costs of materials needed, etc.)

At this point I do not know of other significant costs.

  • If there will be a dedicated staff position, how much time would be needed for training?

None. I already have the info I need.

    • How much time would existing staff need to put in? _____________0 hours @
    • How time would existing volunteers need to put in? _____________0 hours @
  • Once the program is up and running how many staff how many hours per week would it take?

The current number of freegeek/coho customers could only justify a relatively small increase in hours

    • In paid staff time? _____________ 8 hours/week @
    • In volunteer time? _____________ 20 hours/week @

(I would like to have a volunteer for every tech support slot, but this actually would not be necessary at the current levels.)

  • Outline the intangible costs for the position and program:

minimal. The type of support would change very little. We would just have access to coho's logs and system for changing passwords, etc.

  • Are there any possible negative impacts on Free Geek's mission, and if so what?

not that I can see, unless it would drain energy from other programs.

  • How will this program affect other programs and staff positions currently in effect

The net effect would be to either take away time for other duties from the Tech Support Coordinator, or shift someone else into a supporting role. It would add 1/4 of a person to the staffing needs.

  • How will this program affect other programs and staff positions being considered?

There would be more justification for getting other staff people involved in tech support so that other staff could take a shift now and then.


  • Would the program generate income? YES
    • If yes, how much income would be expected once the program is up and running? at current numbers of customers $ 240-300 / month

We need to negotiate the actual percentage. This is probably break-even income rather than a net increase. Theoretically the income could rise if we sign adopters up when they take the class and have good retention.

80 customers @ $13/month
20% = $2.60/customer = 208/month
25% = $3.25/customer = 260/month
30% = $3.90/customer = 312/month
35% = $4.55/customer = 364/month

monthly cost for 8 added tech support hours per week (presuming no overlap of the added time with other duties) at $11.00/hr.

    • If yes, how long would it take for the program to get to that point? immediately
  • How does the program support the mission of Free Geek?

A major part of bridging the technological gap is internet access. For the freekbox adopter, there are few isps who will support his linux box, largely because they are not trained in all the different strains of linux. By transferring isp support to us, we add a small piece to our support costs while removing a large barrier for the adopter.

The freekbox becomes a much more usable and valuable tool, and that much less likely to be converted to windows or left in a corner to accumulate dust.

Measuring Success

  • How can the success of the program be measured?

The program would be a limited success if it brought in as much as the additional tech support time cost. Additional benchmarks would be based on the retention of new customers. If we can expand the dialup freekbox customer base without adding much more to tech support, that would be a success.

  • For most income generating positions, the costs initially outweigh the benefits. If this is an income generating program, how long until it is expected to break even?

It should be set up to break even immediately by making sure the additional hours match the additional income (negotiation still in progress.)

  • Outline a plan for implementing the program:
    • Get the basic tools from Coho necessary to do the work. -- DONE
    • Negotiate a reasonable price.
    • Announce the arrangement to the current freekbox coho customers
    • start announcing it at freekbox classes and signing people up.