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Standards in real-time communication

Why are business cards so complex?

NLnet wants to enable mankind to use the internet to its full potential. The internet is not only about services that you consume or information that you can read on the web, it is also increasingly the communication channel of choice between individuals and groups. We as humans use the internet to see and hear each other, exchange or broadcast messages, share content and keep each other posted about the things we care about. The internet is more and more a vehicle for our presence and for sharing our work and private life.

There are many separate high-quality techologies and services available to do so, but development is significantly hindered by the fragmentation of the market. Where other internet technologies like email have achieved an industry wide adoption, the market seems unable to converge on real-time communication. That means that we have individual services that partly fulfil our needs, but lack a real common infrastructure to make it truly global.

If we want to increase the role of the internet in our daily lives sustainably in this area, that means that we have to follow the model of the internet. In our vision that means standards-based, distributed (which means no single point of failure, including independence of individual vendors, security by design, and leveraging the unique global identities provided by the domain name system.

Only that way everyone - from citizen to industry, from civil society to government - can trust this infrastructure. The Real-Time Communication fund hosted by NLnet foundation funds projects that bring these goals closer. The foundation focuses on technology development as well as creating awareness, and is actively pursuing standardisation in internet based communication and presence tools.

Examples of related projects and activities funded by NLnet


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Deadline April 1st, 2020.

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