The city of Sylvania has laid to rest SEV.org, its answer to reliable Internet access before there was broadband.
SEV.org, or Sylvania Electronic Village, an Internet provider service the city offered to residents for free in lieu of AOL in the age of dial-up, ceased operations Thursday.
Mike Tansey, city IT director said the 800 email accounts, which were the only remaining part of the Internet service, were proving too costly to continue. American Broadband and Telecommunications was providing the service to the city for free. However, the company is upgrading its system, which meant that providing the email service would reach up to $10,000 a year, he said.
It was decided that wasn’t a good way to spend taxpayer money, Mr. Tansey said.
The city-run Internet service provider was established in 1995 for $200,000, Mr. Tansey said. Technically a nonprofit, it provided dial-up Internet service for free to those within the Sylvania School District.
Resident Bob Lubell acknowledged that the city was ahead of the technology curve when they created the organization.
“It was a gift from the city of Sylvania and a long and generous one,” he said. The character-based Internet “got the kids on the net,” he said, adding at the time, that although without images, it was a great way to do research and an alternative to AOL, a popular Internet service provider at the time. But as the Internet grew stronger, and content started to include images, the data was too much for the system to carry, and so the city had to partner with other providers.
Mr. Lubell said his email account, which was pointed to Gmail, was clogged with about 250 spam emails a day.
Although it outlived its purpose, he mainly used the email address to gain access to Web sites he signs onto daily.
Since he received the notice about three months ago about the cancellation of service he had to think about all the sites he created a login using the email system. As a professional photographer based in Sylvania, he said he had more than 100 links to his business.
Because companies would send a new login to his now defunct email address, some sites were too difficult to gain entry to.
“I had to let go,” he said.
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