Antenna: History and background
Antenna Association (1989)
The dutch and colombian organisations are similar - in fact twins - the others provide likeminded
services in the field of agricultural and nutritional technology.
In 1995 Antenna published a book in dutch on 10 years of Networking of progressive
organisations: Van Bolwerken tot Netwerken
Antenna was founded in 1986 as independent foundation to support
Non Governmental Organisations, Local Government and Educational
Institutions with the introduction and facilitation of ICT.
We have become the ICT partner for around 500 organisations in the
field of labour, womens emancipation, environment, development,
social change, education, human rights, peace and fair trade.
- From 1986 to 1991 we were the international helpdesk for Poptel
Geonet, a mailbox and database service we helped to start in
London, via which we facilitated 400 NGOs worldwide with mainly
e-mail and databases. We were at that time the Technical
Assistance Group for NGO networks like Interdoc, ISIS, IOCU,
SATIS and HURIDOCS. During that same period Antenna assisted the
launch of national and regional E-mail networks in west- and
southern africa like Mango in Zimbabwe and Worknet in South Africa.
But also networks in Asia (India, Cambodia, Philippines) and
Latin America (Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua and
Uruguay). 150 of them attended the 1990 Antenna Interdoc
Conference in the Netherlands after which APC - Association for
Progressive Communications - was formed.
- From 1991 onwards we provide these services via our own server
location in the Netherlands. In 1992 we hosted and built for
the UNCED, for the Rio Earth Summitt, the on-line databases
with all documents, agendas and related resources. Since then
we worked also for UN agencies like WHO, ILO, UNEP, UNICEF, UNDP.
- In 1993 Antenna organised the dial-up track of the annual
Internet Society workshop in Prague and co-founded the Internet
Society chapter in the Netherlands in 1997, the largest chapter.
- From 1993 to 1995 Antenna built the computer confercing
system for the WWF International network, the Internet E-mail
and Webserver for for Greenpeace International and the E-mail
system for MSF International.
- Since 1993 almost all development, emancipation and environment
organisations in the Netherlands are supported by Antenna.
- Antenna is also reseller of ADSL, Leased Lines, and Internet
access services of providers like Demon, Worldcom UUnet etc.
How viable is Antenna?
Antenna has never received subsidies or grants for its activities
and worked as 100% self reliant professional service since 1986.
Although our slogan is "Networking for Progress, Not for Profit"
Antenna in fact operates all these years on a healthy sound
financial basis and positive result. Our contribution to the
public sector via income tax and VAT (Moms) increases each year.
What remains is reinvested in human and technical resources and
innovation aimed to provide the best possible professional service.
Antenna has assisted in the launch of various succesful ISP
organisations aimed at NGOs in many countries. Most of them
became and remained sustainable operations. Antenna has maintained
self control over its resources, assets and technologies
while sharing its expertise and experience with others.
In 1986 but even now we still feel ISPs must provide independent,
viable, affordable and sustainable services. No cross financing
via other activities which can interrupt the services. Contracts
must be respected, domains, E-mail and websites kept alive and
accessible to avoid interruption of the daily work of all users.
How affordable is Antenna?
Some of the tarrifs of Antenna are higher compared to others,
but include more service and quality
components. We believe that services
in order to remain a sustainable support for users must be
both viable as affordable. When users feel they can not
subscribe the offered service we have a range of budget
models to accomodate users with lower income situations.
How sustainable is Antenna?
Antenna has proven as independent service organisation to be
sustainable due to its self reliance since 1986. As foundation
Antenna can not be bought, is aimed at servicing the public
sector and will remain working in the public sphere and domain.
Antenna has no growth scenario, we believe in the networked
society, in the network economy, sharing and cooperating with
other agencies, organisations and services. Antennas income
comes for a substantial part by reselling its services via
others, but also reselling the services of others via Antenna.