Mountain Area Information Network

About MAIN

In the tradition of the rural cooperatives that helped spread the reach of electricity in the 1930s, MAIN is one of the engines behind the modern expansion of Internet accessibility in western North Carolina.

When MAIN was launched in 1996, only two counties in western North Carolina were being served by commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As a non-profit ISP working with many local partners, MAIN now provides reliable, low-cost Internet service both in western North Carolina and nationwide.

MAIN owes its growth to strong support from the community, where thousands of people have eagerly embraced the opportunity to spend their Internet access dollars with a locally-controlled and accountable organization. Hundreds of our members have gone even further in their support of MAIN by donating their time and skills as volunteers or by supporting us in our fundraising efforts.

MAIN has earned this support through numerous community-based initiatives. Our home page is the portal of choice for WNC residents who want to stay connected through our calendar, local spotlights, link directories, news articles and more. MAIN also links to useful tools ranging from summer ozone alerts to winter school closings. And we have exciting plans to complete our alternative business model for journalism, "MAIN 2.0."

Other projects include the Blue Ridge Web Market, which provides a free, customizable Internet presence to hundreds of small businesses throughout the region. The ReBoot Coalition, spearheaded by MAIN, places recycled computers in the homes of economically disadvantaged WNC residents, and our Latino Digital Literacy Project is helping one of our area's growing populations access the Internet through hands-on training and online classes.

MAIN is also the driving force behind MAIN-FM, WNC's low power FM radio station broadcasting local news, views and music over-the-air in the Asheville area and throughout the region (and the world) via webcast. The station shares MAIN's goal of providing access to voices that are overlooked by the mainstream media. MAIN-FM is on the air now at 103.7 FM.

As a full-service ISP, MAIN is able to provide free or reduced-cost web hosting services to businesses and non-profit organizations throughout our service area. As part of our mission to extend Internet access beyond the middle-class and wealthy, we also offer reduced-fee dial-up accounts to people in need of such help.

As the Internet changes, MAIN is changing too. We now offer a professionally staffed Help Desk to answer technical questions for our members. MAIN also offers spam and virus filtering, dialup acceleration, and national access. We are also offering high speed Internet access in some parts of our service area, with plans to expand that reach as soon as possible.

MAIN is also the parent organization of IndyLink, a national dialup ISP that shares MAIN's committments to an independent media and an engaged citizenry. IndyLink has local access numbers nationwide.

If you would like to know more about MAIN and all we have to offer, spend a few minutes exploring our Web site. Our subscribers are our best advocates - you can read a few of their comments. You can help us spread the word too, by including our banners on your own web site. You can find different versions here, here, or here.

You are always welcome to call us at (828) 255-0182 or (866) 962-6246 toll-free outside of Asheville. We look forward to getting to know you!