What is the InfoZone?
The InfoZone was one of the ground-breaking community networks world-wide, just as the Internet was being born. Starting in the late ’80s, it used the First Class BBS community networking platform, with many early users and online exchanges with other CNs. In 1993 it provided local citizens access to information technology and helped to direct this technology for community purposes. At the InfoZone’s inception, Telluride became the first small town in the world to have direct local dial-in to the internet. The InfoZone provided free email, local and national news, conferences, and other community information. In 1992-3 The Institute signed an MOU with the Colorado Advanced Technology Institute (CATI) and with Colorado Supernet, to make the InfoZone the first rural community (non-university) Internet PoP (Point of Presence) in the world, tied to a pervasive community telecomputing network. By 1994-95, working with Tetherless Access, Ltd.,the InfoZone also hosted the country’s first community wireless (spread spectrum) WAN.
Richard Lowenberg was a founding director of Telluride Institute’s InfoZone Program, a pragmatic model for enhanced community telecommunications infrastructure, public services and opportunities.
Under his leadership, the InfoZone program received financial and technical support from: The Colorado Advanced Technology Institute; US Dep’t. of Commerce, EDA (author of the 1995 “Rural Telecommunications and Economic Development Guide” web site) and NTIA/TIIAP; Colorado Supernet; Apple Computer’s Library of Tomorrow Program; Tetherless Access, Ltd. (wireless community WAN); U.S. West Communications; IBM; US Robotics and Global Village Communications; InFocus Systems; the Colorado Trust and the National Civic League’s Healthy Communities Initiative (“REACH for Health book and web site); the ESRI Conservation Technology Support Program (GIS system); the Benton Foundation/National Endowment for the Arts’ Open Studio: Arts Online Initiative; the Town of Telluride; San Miguel County and numerous regional businesses and individuals.