BUDGET 2011 TECHNOLOGY: Filtering grants scheme canned due to lack of interest

BUDGET 2011 TECHNOLOGY: Filtering grants scheme canned due to lack of interest

Only $200,000 of $9.8 million used in past 12 months

The Voluntary Internet Filtering Grants Program which gave Australian ISPs grants for providing Net filtering options under the proposed mandatory Internet filter scheme has been scrapped in the 2011 Federal Budget because nobody was interested in it.

According to the government only $200,000 of $9.8 million had been used in the past 12 months.

“The Government provided $9.8 million in the 2010‑11 Budget to establish the Voluntary Internet Filtering Grants Program to assist internet service providers (ISPs) to offer customers internet filtering options on a commercial basis,” according to Budget papers.

“However, consultation with industry has identified limited interest in the grants due to the increasing range of filtering technologies readily available to online users, including browser and search engine filters, and the decision of the three largest ISPs, which account for over 70 per cent of Australian internet users, to voluntarily filter child abuse sites using a list compiled and maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.”

The contentious mandatory Internet filter is still lurking on the government back blocks and is expected to bounce back into the spotlight over the next year or two, depending on whether it is politically expedient for the Government to bring it on.

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Tags TelecommunicationsAustralian Communications and Media AuthorityMandatory Internet filterinternet service providers (ISPs)Voluntary Internet Filtering Grants Program

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