The period 2006/2007 has unfortunately seen an overall loss of 53
members from APANA. The total membership now stands at 147 which was
previously around 200 members this time last year. Particularly hard
hit was Brisbane with a loss of 17 members.
The loss of members from APANA can be attributed to a number of
reasons, but the main cause is the competitive nature of providing
Internet access of which is APANA’s core reason for
existence. With many big players offering package deals with phone and
Internet access(so called bundling) and by using careful advertising
and marketing, it is no wonder many members have drifted away from
APANA. However, this has been discussed over and over at past
AGM’s and MC meetings and perhaps is no point repeating it
APANA at the crossroads.
Though it may seem the future of APANA is in doubt the way things are
currently going, one thing is certain, what we are doing at the moment
just isn’t working. APANA must change if it is to
survive.... though change can be a good thing. But from out of this, is
opportunity, to do something different and new.... and that sounds
positively exciting. In the past year, some ideas have been presented
of what of what direction to take, though for one reason or another
these ideas haven’t been implemented. Motivating members in a
non profit organisation is never easy, the time, effort and work put
in, never match the reward and for many people who lead busy working
and family lives there simply isn’t enough time for volunteer
So we come to a fork in the road for APANA, which way do we take?
Should we congratulate ourselves on a good the good job we have done in
the past and declare we made a difference in helping Australians
connect to the Internet and walk away?
I suggest there is still opportunity for APANA to offer something that
people want, just as 12 or so years ago when the Internet was gaining
popularity there was a ground swell of genuine interest to get
connected. APANA was born out of that desire by people to get
connected. Could it be, we repeat that success again but with a new
The loss incurred in the past year was substantially less than
in previous years due to timely action taken by most regions to reduce
their expenditure when membership losses occurred.
With the exception of Brisbane and National, all regions managed to do
a very good job in balancing their budget and four regions actually
recorded a small surplus for the year while Perth's deficit was even
smaller than the surpluses of any other region.
As the result of significant membership losses National was unable to
recover from expenses incurred by last years AGM mainly as a result of
the travel allowances paid to Management Committee members who
attended. Despite this being a long standing tradition, as of this year
these allowances will no longer be paid.
During the year when it was apparent that Brisbane was in dire straits
financially, SA cooperated to moved all its dialup members onto the ECN
ports that Brisbane was leasing and share the cost of those ports.
Subsequently both Sydney and Perth have moved all theirr dialup members
to that connection as well and it looks likely Hunter will follow suit
later this year. As these connections are available Australia wide
there are no longer any regional restrictions that have limited the
availability of our dialup services in the past.
Last year, there were only eleven new members. Of those seven joined
Hunter(although two have now resigned); SA had two new members;
Brisbane and Sydney one each. There have been no new members since
April this year while APANA has lost twenty members since then.
Unless we can gain new members or curb the current rate of loss of
existing members, it won't be long before the only services that APANA
will be able to afford are those that can be offered free-of-charge to
APANA by individual members using their own private connections as is
currently the case in ACT and Melbourne and for the most part Sydney. I
have no doubt that individual members in all regions will volunteer to
do this to keep APANA 'alive' but I sincerely hope it won't come to
No report submitted
Brisbane has had a dreadful year with lots of resignations. We have
gone from being the largest region to one of the smallest and with an
ever-increasing debt. At the time of writing we are $3,428. in debt
with under 30 members, whereas we were in credit this time a couple of
years ago with memberships hitting the 100 mark.
Lack of interest in APANA has meant that the same people are doing
everything, with no new blood for quite some time. Our decrease in
numbers have resulted from the expiration of gargoyle, lots of problems
and outages, and people moving away towards ADSL from other companies.
Despite my being in constant touch with ECN, we still do not appear to
be competitive price-wise in the ADSL market. We would be further in
debt were it not for some other APANA branches renting some of our ECN
Ports from us.
With lack of interest, lack of support, furthering debt and declining
numbers, I don't know how much longer Brisbane can continue. We have
many plans that could get us out of this situation; however, severe
lack of time from those on the committee to be able to implement any of
them is stopping this from happening at the moment and into the
Deputy Regional Co-ordinator & Regional Finance Officer
The region has been quiet this past year.
There are several ongoing issues that require urgent attention over the next month or two:
- A drop in membership has reduced the economic viability of our dial-in lines. A move to the 56K ECN service has been recommended and is being actioned.
- Ageing equipment has resulted in increasing faults and failures. The plan is to consolidate two of the region's machines into one using newer hardware. The benefits to this include reliability, less points of failure, and a reduction in electricity usage.
The reduction in membership is of concern, as in past years there has been enough turnover of member numbers to
maintain a steady level of income. However, as with all regions, this
has given the region the incentive to become more efficient and reduce
the workload on the core executive, which will maintain its viability
for at least the immediate future.
One of our members has kindly offered to the region a number of PCs no longer in use. Carolyn will select the most
useful of these which will then be put to use to rebuild and maintain the regional hardware.
In conclusion I would very much like to thank Hunter's System Administrator Chris for his work in maintaining the
region's network and introducing improvements such as the excellent anti-spam measures. Also, I thank Carolyn for her
work in the day to day activities of supporting our members in addition to being the organisations' Treasurer.
APANA Hunter Regional Coordinator
Independently Connected Region:
No report submitted
No report submitted
Perth APANA region continues, though we only have 13 members left. We
have endeavored to reduce our outgoing expenses any way we can by
turning off unnecessary equipment and cutting little used services. We
have discontinued all dialup services and those remaining members using
dialups have been transferred to the ECN 56k port lines which are
shared with SA and Brisbane. A couple of members connect via our
arrangements with DFT ADSL and a couple take advantage of the Internode
ADSL deal. All other members connect to the Internet by their own
means, leaving Odyssey to cater for users who connect via telnet/ssh or
use the email services.
Odyssey continues to be our main server, and has generally been quite
reliable, the main link(ADSL) continues to be with Amnet which is also
shared with National server.
No meetings of any kind have occurred for about 2 years as there seems
little interest in doing such, however I have had regular contact with
individual members either by telephone or email and the occasional
We still have an outstanding debt to National of over $3000, which we
have little or no chance to pay back unless a miracle happens.
South Australia Region:
It has been a comparatively quiet year for SA. We have seen the
expected trickle of members leaving for broadband, but have also had
some new web hosting members join, with several others pending.
Our finances have been tight but we have(just) kept out of the 'red'. Nevertheless,
this remains an area of concern. We have rationalised our equipment,
reduced electricity consumption and generally tried to reduce costs.
However, there is a limit to how far we can do this, so new members and
more varied types of membership are very important to our future
The relationship with community wireless group Air-Stream, while not
delivering income, remains a potential source of membership. We have
provided Air-Stream members with Internet web access, while in return
they have made all their access points available for use by our
members. We hope to capitalise on this in the future.
The building owners rent increase was successfully rejected, meaning
that we did not have to relocate. The move to ADSL in January
seems to have been quite successful, replacing the increasingly
unreliable PAPL link and giving a useful increase in link speed.
The social events each month have been attended by the same group of regulars and
remains one of the cornerstones of the club. Our web pages have been
replaced by a Joomla based content management system and the Tierzero
server was replaced.
Some future planned activities include reducing the number of servers
at the hub, implementing some redundancy for login authentication for
login authentication and introducing new web services. So there is
still much to do.
We are looking forward to hosting the AGM and to renewing friendships with members from other regions.
SA Regional Coordinator.
No report submitted