The Internet Industry Association - The What?

According to The Australian, the Internet Industry Association has lost some key players... but what is the IIA?

According to The Australian, the Internet Industry Association has suffered a huge loss, in that 3 of it's key members - Microsoft, Google and Telstra - have pulled the plug on their involvement.

"MICROSOFT, Google and Telstra have quietly withdrawn financial support from Australia's leaderless peak internet industry body the Internet Industry Association. All three have confirmed they will not renew their financial memberships with the association."

Apparently the board has over 100 members, though it appears that these three companies alone would contribute to the financial resources in a big way, particularly as "the IIA board calculates member fees based on their 'relevant commercial interest' in the market, including revenue."

Hearing this news this morning, I am left with 2 questions...

1. Who or What is the Internet Industry Association?

Living and working in the sticks, it's quite possible that the carrier pigeon with all the information I need about the IIA got lost. This is the first time I have heard about the IIA, despite being very involved in the internet industry in Australia for the last 5 years.

Doing a bit of digging I see that the IIA is obviously involved in the major decisions relating to all things internet in Australia, including Family Friendly Filters, Internet Law and setting national broadband targets.

I also see that their website was designed by a Joomla Template company so can only assume the website is run on Joomla - I love it when major national associations can't seem to get a custom website and CMS - and that the developer Cleartext Systems has a logo containing a less than clear circle and a blurry picture of the guy who I guess is the owner.

That aside, the IIA seems to be basically the guys that decide what happens and how, to the Internet Industry within Australia.

2. What does this mean for those of us in the Internet Industry?

Well I'm not exactly sure! Because the association sits so high up in the clouds, it seems to me that having 3 key players pull out will only affect the association itself - i.e. it will affect the amount of money it receives, but with so many other members, my guess is that as far as decisions go, we down here at operational level are not going to notice anything major.

I need to do a bit more reading into it, but I don't think we need to be stressing just yet... I'd love to hear your thoughts though, let me know what you think the effect will be and maybe even give me some more insight into the IIA so I don't have to wait for the pigeon to get here!