InternetNZ spends $250k to fund partner organisations

Domain name organisation will fund NetSafe and 2020 Communication Trust, Update

Update: Tuesday April 9 InternetNZ has announced it will fund Creative Commons Aotearoa NZ to the tune of $20,000. "The partnership will see InternetNZ provide funding to help Creative Commons progress and expand its suite of projects including the running of more ‘open licensing’ workshops, other events and the development of sector-specific resources," a statement reads.

InternetNZ administers the .nz domain name system. According to its 2011/12 annual report the organisation received just over $7 million in registry fees last year. InternetNZ spokesperson Campbell Gardiner says the organisation will be making further announcements about other recipients of funding later this week. Original story NetSafe and the 2020 Communications Trust are each to receive a grant of $125,000 from InternetNZ. Cybersafety organisation NetSafe says it will use the grant for its day-to-day operations and “to help advance its suite of internet safety programmes encompassing cyberbullying, computer security, education resources, consumer protection and policy advice.” InternetNZ and NetSafe have a shared history dating back to 2000 and both organisations say the partnership will strengthen their already close relationship.

The 2020 Communications Trust, says it will use the funding to advance programmes such as Computers in Homes and the Stepping Up programme, which seek to improve digital literacy and access to technology.

Trust CEO Laurence Millar says says the need is no longer just for computer equipment and the knowledge to work that, but for economical access to the internet.

“About 65 percent of our Computers in Homes clients no longer have a landline in the home,” he says. "They’re using basic mobile phones, but 3G networking and tethering a PC is likely to be technically impossible or beyond their budget."

Installation of fibre networking to schools could provide the “motorway” to internet access for such people, Millar says, but “slip roads” will have to be put in place, for example by community wi-fi networks.

Many low-income users operate a “cash economy with no float” Millar says; they find it easier to meet a payment of $5 a week than $20 a month for an internet connection; so a means of bridging that cashflow gap would also be useful.

The Trust and InternetNZ should come up with some definite projects “within the next quarter”, Millar says.

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