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VALLEY ROUNDUP : Encino

Internet Provider Wins $5,000 Prize

January 17, 2001|NEDRA RHONE

Los Angeles Free-Net, a nonprofit provider of Internet access, won $5,000 in a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Ars Portalis Project competition awarded money to five organizations that use community networking to bring about social change.

Los Angeles Free-Net, based in Encino, will use the money to support a new project, called "iComm." The service will allow friends and family of hospital patients to read updates of the patient's condition on a secured Web site. It also will automatically send an e-mail update to everyone with clearance in the system.

The $125,000 project, scheduled for completion in April, may be adopted later in other parts of the country.

Los Angeles Free-Net was founded in 1994 to provide affordable Internet access to residents of Southern California. It is operated by a staff of 240 volunteers. Users who are financially able pay $40 per year for access; others receive the service for free.

For more information, call (888) 523-6674 or visit http://www.lafn.org.

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