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Cable & Wireless extends support for internet safety

9th December 2003

Cable & Wireless, the international telecommunications group, today further strengthened its commitment to internet safety by announcing additional support for the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA).

Cable & Wireless has made available 84,000 to help ICRA develop its content labelling system and promote such labelling around the world. Cable & Wireless hopes that through an effective partnership between the internet industry, content providers and ICRA, website labelling will become mainstream practice.

As one of the world's leading providers of internet connectivity, Cable & Wireless is committed to the promotion of website labelling as a vital tool in making the internet safe and secure, particularly for children.

Gareth James, managing director, UK Corporate Markets, Cable & Wireless, said, "Cable & Wireless believes that website labelling is increasingly regarded as industry best practice among content providers. As part of our commitment to internet safety, we recommend that our internet-based customers label their websites and we encourage our partners in the industry to support content labelling and the work of ICRA."

ICRA has developed a unique system that allows website owners to label their content themselves, according to the nature of the material available on the website. Reflecting the global reach of the internet, ICRA provides a labelling system based on objective and culturally neutral criteria that are understood around the world.

ICRA labels are used to filter unwanted or unsuitable content by a number of software solutions, including ICRA's own platform, ICRAplus. Parents can use the ICRAplus filtering tool to define the type of content they do not wish their children to view on the internet.

To label their websites, content providers and website owners should complete a free online questionnaire at which will generate a machine-readable content label. This is not visible to website users, but is read by content filtering software such as ICRAplus. A choice of ICRA logo buttons is available should a content owner wish to demonstrate visibly that their website has been labelled.

Cable & Wireless has been an active supporter of ICRA since its foundation in 1999, both as a partner in the development of the technology behind the labelling system and as a sponsor of its long-term business plan.

Stephen Balkam, CEO, ICRA, said, "Support from Cable & Wireless is a huge boost to our efforts to encourage content providers to label their websites to help parents to protect their children from potentially harmful material."

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