MAIN is happy to introduce a new feature, MAIN Boosters. Because MAIN is a non-profit community network, we rely on our many friends and satisfied members to help us spread the word about the importance of maintaining a locally-accountable, locally-controlled Internet Service Provider. MAIN Boosters is our way of spotlighting some of the efforts being made on behalf of our community network. If you know someone who goes out of his or her way to promote MAIN, please send us an email.
The city of Waynesville has changed a lot since John Mudge first moved to the area in 1975. What used to be pastures are now shopping centers, and two-lane country roads have grown into four-lane highways.
"What really changed is the pace," Mudge says. "Everybody's in a hurry, especially on the highways. When I'm driving, it seems like I'm always in somebody's way!"
Mudge, who runs both a bike shop and an electrical contracting company from his home near the Pigeon River, doesn't mind one change of pace that has had a big impact on Waynesville and all of western North Carolina: the speed of information. It may have taken the rural parts of WNC a bit longer to join the Internet Age, but Mudge says nobody in MAIN's 14-county service area needs to feel left behind now.
"It's something that's been totally reliable for me," Mudge said of his MAIN Internet service, which he's had since 1997. "It reminds me of public radio, and I'm a huge fan of public radio. There's lots of local content, but it's nice and low-key. Not a lot of flashing lights and dancing monkeys."
Reliability and affordability are key to Mudge, since MAIN Internet access is an important tool for his business. But as a long-time mountain resident, he feels MAIN brings more than connectivity to the region.
"It brings us a source of information," Mudge says of MAIN's home page. "It's often information that's not in the local papers, and it brings a different perspective to the editorial content. Whether I happen to agree with it all the time or not, I'm glad it's there. It's not a typical, mainstream approach."
MAIN is important to Mudge's businesses, and it turns out those businesses are important to MAIN too. As a dedicated MAIN member, Mudge includes our brochures along with the invoices he sends to all of the computer-using customers of Apple Creek Electric and RollsRite Bicycles.
Mudge can't say how many of his customers have signed on with MAIN, but he thinks it's worth the trouble to help spread the word.
"One of the things I like about MAIN is that I'm not getting barraged with sales pitches and pop-up ads, and the staff is always very responsive," Mudge said. "If I can help MAIN grow and help my customers by turning them on to a good local Internet source, that's what I want to do."
We here at MAIN appreciate all of the members who help to keep our community network growing and strong. If you or someone you know is a MAIN Booster, going the extra mile to spread the word about us, please let us know by emailing us.
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