Mountain Area Information Network

Mountain Area Information Network

Fact Sheet


Mission Statement

MAIN is a nonprofit community network using integrated media technologies to expand the local public sphere and to support:

* participatory democracy

* citizen access to media

* independent journalism

* local cultural and artistic expression

* locally-owned businesses

* social and economic justice

* and environmental stewardship.

Organizational History

When MAIN was founded in 1996, many citizens of western North Carolina had to call long-distance to reach the Internet. MAIN solved that problem, and at the same time provided the first public Internet access at libraries in 12 mountain counties. Today, MAIN has expanded its mission of empowering citizen-access to the media by moving into the worlds of high-speed wireless Internet access and low-power FM radio. MAIN-FM, 103.7 FM, the Progressive Voice of the Mountains, is heard over the airwaves in Asheville, N.C. and worldwide via the Internet. Meanwhile, the MAIN homepage has become a regional informational portal with more than 390,000 unique visitors per month.

Programs and Services

* Regional Portal Website and Community Calendar (

* Affordable Web Hosting (for individuals, local businesses, and nonprofits)

* Wireless Broadband Internet Access; Regional & National Dial-Up Internet Access

* Blue Ridge Web Market (free, customizable Internet presence for locally-owned small businesses in Western North Carolina)

* ReBoot Coalition (recycled computers to physically disabled & economically disadvantaged citizens)

* Latino Digital Literacy Project & Carolina Hoy! (Spanish language education & information)

* MAIN-FM 103.7 FM ( (low-power FM station for news, information & music)

Recent Articles

Mountain Express: MAIN turns 10: Nonprofit looks back on a decade of growth and activism, by Brian Postelle:

Citizen-Times: MAIN spends decade webbing WNC, by Dale Neal, Staff Writer:

2006-2007 Organization Operating Budget ($809,892)

The Mountain Area Information Network has created a unique model of financial sustainability by enabling citizens to spend their Internet dollars to support a locally-accountable community network. Almost three-quarters of MAIN's operating revenue is derived from Internet service fees. The percentage breakdown of MAIN's annual operating budget are shown below:

* Regional Dial-Up User Fees (43%)

* National Dial-Up User Fees (4%)

* Wireless Installation and Subscriber Fees (21%)

* Web Services Income (6%)

* Individual Contributions (8%)

* Foundation Grants (12%)

* Miscellaneous Income (6%)