Bell Canada needed a community website to complement its rollout of TotalVision - its first fully digital broadcast service. TotalVision was designed to link 3,500 customers from Repentigny, Quebec and London, Ontario to a broadcast network using a digital cable television service, near video on demand, and a variety of high speed Internet applications.

Telepresence worked with Bell and members of the local communities to develop the overall strategy for a community access website. Once requirements were gathered and prototypes approved, Telepresence designed, built and installed a state-of-the-art community access site, called Community Express.

Community Express is a comprehensive community publishing system which includes publishing tools, text chat, newsgroups, and a community bulletin board. Designing and developing Community Express was extremely challenging given that it had to be accessible to all members of the community. It was designed to be used on PCs, Macintoshes and network computers, running Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator (versions 3 & 4), over both high-speed and dial-up connections, and in both French and English.

The system is built on a Microsoft NT/IIS server structure using JavaScript and Perl to integrate numerous third party software components (iChat, WebX, MediaMaker, etc.). A central feature of Community Express is the Express Websites (mini-websites) created and maintained by members of the local community using Telepresence's own EasyPub software.

Community Express exemplifies the user-centred design and implementation process at which Telepresence excels.