History and background

Antenna Association

Antenna Netherlands is closely linked via the Antenna Association based in Geneva since 1986 with sister organisations in France, Switzerland (Antenna Technologie), Colombia ( Antenna Colnodo) and India (Antenna Trust). The dutch and colombian organisations are similar – in fact twins – the others provide likeminded services in the field of agricultural and nutritional technology. 


  • 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.

History and background