Legal duties drive Web filter boom

Legal duties drive Web filter boom

Resellers and manufacturers of Internet filtering programs are anticipating record sales, with a new Federal Government ruling that Internet service providers (ISPs) must make the software available to their customers.

Companies such as Eye-t Technology, the manufacture of filtering program Eyeguard, and Lanvision, the Australian distributor of Cyber Patrol, have been inundated by calls from ISPs eager to comply with the new law, which came into effect on January 1.

'We have been run off our feet by calls,' said David Dodunski, director of Eye-t Technology. 'We have also been actively approaching ISPs. We want to show that we really want to do business and are prepared to offer them a zero-cost solution.'

Charles Heunemann, director of sales for Lanvision, said he has been 'flat out' taking calls from ISPs and he estimates the extra business could be worth at least $250,000 for the first quarter of this year.

'That's a conservative estimate,' Heunemann explained. 'The law says the ISPs have to make it available but consumers don't actually have to purchase it. We kept that in mind.'

Lanvision has already hired extra staff to build an e-commerce site to enable ISPs to sell Cyber Patrol over the Internet, Heunemann said.

Eye-t's Dodunski said that extra sales could be worth millions for the year - a boon that resellers have the opportunity to share.

'There are opportunities for resellers if they can assist us to close deals with ISPs,' Dodunski said. 'I also think of the ISPs themselves as a reseller channel. It's a second channel, but some of the benefit has flowed down to our traditional channel. Last month an ISP made a major purchase through one of our resellers. The product generally doesn't lend itself to three-tiered distribution, but if the reseller is big enough and has contacts with ISPs, we will support them.'

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