InternetNZ funds work on mobile services, internet addiction

Organisation announces results of latest research funding round

InternetNZ has awarded grants totalling $100,000 to seven recipients for projects ranging from improving mobile services, to internet addiction and freedom of speech online.

Outreach and Engagement Director Andrew Cushen says the funding was awarded in the latest Internet research round, which opened in November 2017. The organisation received 39 applications involving technical, legal and social sciences research on the Internet and its uses.

The largest funding amounts of $25,000 were awarded to two projects. Simone Rodda from University of Auckland received a grant for an exploratory study that will “research behaviour change strategies” for internet addiction. “The study will provide preliminary evidence as to the feasibility of self-managed treatment using action and coping planning for Internet Addiction. And will help to determine whether a large-scale trial should be undertaken in the future.”

Haibo Zhang from University of Otago also received a $25,000 grant, for technical research providing a better mobile internet service, by developing “efficient solutions for coherent joint transmission in 5G networks, where multiple Access Points (APs) cooperate to perform simultaneous data transmission to a single user device to achieve high-quality communication.”

Other research grants were awarded to projects that included the research and design of an awareness programme to improve students’ online security awareness, research into freedom of speech on the internet, a project assessing the adoption of new gTLDs and how these gTLDs have implemented DNSSEC, the development of a spam phishing detection system, and an investigation into “ICT strategies in Aotearoa New Zealand used by Indigenous organisations to create opportunities for sustainability.”

InternetNZ is the designated manager for the .nz Internet domain and according to its 2016/17 Annual Report collects around $10 million in registry fees annually. The report notes it intends to allocate around  $700,000 in this financial year to community funding.

The organisation has recently been be restructured around two legal entities: Internet New Zealand Inc and Domain Name Commission Ltd. NZRS, with the registry and operator for .nz domain names is now part of InternetNZ. It’s CEO Jordan Carter was appointed Group CEO under the new structure in December 2017.

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