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01 August 2012, 10:30

Open Internet Endowment foundation to support the IETF

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Open Internet Endowment logo

As the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has historically been underfunded, a new Open Internet Endowment foundation has been set up to collect donations to fund its work. The President of the Internet Society (ISOC), Lynn St Amour, and IETF chair, Russ Housley, introduced the foundation at the 84th IETF meeting in Vancouver on Monday evening. Other complementary initiatives that promote the health of the internet can also receive support from the foundation, although donors can explicitly state that a donation is intended for the IETF.

The Internet Society currently contributes $2 million to the IETF's annual internet protocol standardisation budgetPDF. Further funds are usually generated from registration fees for meetings. In view of the economic crisis, the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) decided some time ago to not increase the registration fees for the three annual meetings.

Finding alternative funding isn't easy for the non-government standardisation organisation. A considerable part of the ISOC's IETF funding is sourced from the revenue generated from the Public Interest Registry (PIR) which administrates .org domains. The ISOC has also applied for the .ngo TLD, which may generate further income in the future. Nevertheless, the IETF continues to implement money-saving measures, particularly by cutting costs.

In Vancouver, St Amour and Housley suggested that active members should donate small amounts between $50 and $500. Housley revealed later that around $5,000 was generated within the first ten minutes. As a next step, the foundation plans to encourage public sponsorship, especially from companies that earn a lot of money with the open internet.

(Monika Ermert / fab)

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