Victorian Government to Discontinue Pro-Bono Hosting Service for Australian Non-Profits

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Charities and community groups in the state of Victoria in Australia will have to find a new web and email hosting services provider as the government readies the shutdown of its pro-bono web hosting services starting on January 6, 2014.

As many as 5,000 groups hosted their websites and email with the government’s Vicnet hosting service, according to a report by iTNews. The services will be discontinued as of Jan. 31, 2014, as other free and inexpensive options are easily available for charities and non-profit organizations.

While the government announced the changes to its Internet services offerings in September, giving groups a fair amount of time to seek alternatives, it does provide another example of how it is essential to have an migration strategy in place, and cloud data backed up, as cloud providers can be fleeting. It also sheds some light on the nature of free hosting services, which offer no guarantees to their existence.

The government suggests Vicnet customers look to free blogging services to fill the gap, such as WordPress or Blogger, and it is referring customers who wish to pay for a hosting service to WebCentral, a division of Melbourne IT. Other web hosting providers may take this opportunity to offer special discounts or offers to former Vicnet customers in order to gain some new business.

The government is offering help to its former customers in migrating their data to a new provider, and will redirect web traffic and mail until May 2014.

Australia is expected to have high demand for cloud computing services throughout 2014, partly due to a weak market outlook that will force Australian organizations to rethink their IT strategies and reduce overall IT spending.

Recently, Microsoft launched a new package offering free Office 365 services to non-profits in 41 countries, extending to 90 countries by July.

About the Author

Nicole Henderson is the Editor in Chief of the WHIR, where she covers daily news and features online. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto. You can find her on Twitter @NicoleHenderson.

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