News Release

NetAid Web Site Sets World Record for Largest Internet Broadcast; More than One Thousand Organizations Join Initiative to Fight Extreme Poverty

Prime Time Two-hour NetAid special to air October 13 on TNT; Ongoing TV and Radio Broadcasts To Educate Millions about Long-term Initiative against Extreme Poverty
Oct 12, 1999

October 12, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced that the Internet broadcast of the NetAid concerts in Geneva, London and New Jersey on October 9, 1999 set a new world record for the largest Internet broadcast event for a single day. More than 2.4 million streams of the NetAid concerts were seen on The concerts served as the kick-off for NetAid, a long-term initiative developed by Cisco and the United Nations Development Programme to help eradicate extreme poverty.

The event marked a key milestone when more than one thousand philanthropic organizations signed up on the web site to become part of the ongoing NetAid project.

"The tremendous success of the NetAid launch demonstrates the unique power of the Internet as a lasting resource. With more than 1,000 non-profit organizations joining NetAid online, we've taken a significant step towards realizing the vision of creating a public-private partnership to connect the world," said Don Listwin, executive vice president of Cisco Systems. "NetAid is not about fundraising, it is about creating an ecosystem of people working together to fight extreme poverty, including debt relief for the world's poorest countries."

Major television and radio specials are planned for NetAid in the coming months to highlight the web site and mobilize people to contribute time, money, resources and services for extreme poverty. The U.S. cable channel TNT will air a 2-hour NetAid special on Wednesday, October 13 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time, 7:00 p.m. Central Time.

Since the NetAid inauguration is a multi-broadcast event aired over several days worldwide, additional statistics including web hits and donations are expected to be released next week, when upcoming NetAid broadcasts air in 120 countries.

  • 2,494,135 total web streams (record for a single day)
  • 99.69 percent successful web page downloads (higher average than top 40 web sites)
  • 99.33 percent successful web stream connections (vs. 40 % connection rate typical in past webcasts)
  • Millions of people connected from 160 countries
  • Worldwide television, radio, and Internet coverage generated 2 billion impressions
  • 110,000 live concert attendees participated to make a difference
  • 1,400 non-profit groups registered, including Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and Americorps
  • NetAid credited as positive force in helping secure $27 billion in US debt relief by musical artist Bono

"The event was spectacular and the impact of NetAid on a long-term basis could be remarkable. NetAid has the potential to help expand Internet access throughout remote regions in developing countries," said Fred McClimans, chairman and founder of Current Analysis, an analytical intelligence firm based in Sterling, Virginia. "NetAid is a prime example of applying the Internet in new and innovative ways to affect social change."

Using the Internet for Social Change: Evolving the NetAid website

New capabilities will be added to, making it easier for people to take action in the fight against extreme poverty. A new resource matching center will go live by the end of the year, enabling people around the world to post information about their needs or about resources they can provide. The resource center will allow active browsing of the postings, as well as automatic matching and notification of corresponding needs and resources. For example, a retiring dentist in Western Europe could post available equipment on and match with a student in a developing country's dentistry training program and directly fulfill the donation.

Also, in cooperation with the United Nations, the NetAid web site may also feature information about a specific project or cause, such as the Jubilee 2000 Africa Campaign, which seeks the elimination of debt burden for developing countries.

Real Broadcast Network provided the streaming technology, Akamai Technology and Cisco provided the Internet broadcast infrastructure and, KPMG helped develop and design the web site.

About NetAid

More than one billion people around the world live in extreme poverty, on less than the equivalent of one dollar per day. NetAid is a unique, long-term initiative that uses the Internet to provide a global resource against extreme poverty. NetAid will help channel support and activism to address several key issues that are major causes of extreme poverty, including: basic needs such as food and shelter, helping refugees and other displaced victims of war and disasters, securing human rights, preserving the quality of the environment and natural resources and relieving debts of poor nations.

Cisco Systems

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