Training a whole nation’s IT workforce

By on 11 Jan 2016

Categories: Community Development

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Last month, the APNIC training team had the unique task of training the entire IT workforce of the South Pacific Island nation of Niue.

Situated close to the International Date Line within a triangle of islands – Tonga to the west, Samoa to the north, and the Cook Islands to the east – Niue may be small in size and population but it has the highest rate of Internet penetration in the Pacific.

Servicing 1,200 residents are two telecom operators – the state-owned Telecom Niue and the Internet Users Society Niue, more commonly referred to as Internet Niue.

Telecom Niue provides ADSL connection to homes and is currently installing a fibre-optic cable to provide voice, data, and TV services to every village on the island. Internet Niue provides free Internet access to residents and visitors anywhere on the island where there is Wi-Fi coverage.

From 16 to 20 November, Jessica Wei and myself conducted a three-day IPv6 workshop and a one-day Internet Resource Management Tutorial. This was the first APNIC workshop conducted in Niue for all 18 IT staff working for the government, private, and education sectors on the island.

During the workshop, attendees were introduced to IPv6 architecture and learned how to calculate address subnetting, configure a dual-stack network and develop an IPv6 deployment plan. In the tutorial they learnt about Internet resources, infrastructure, and IP address allocation.

On a small island with no roaming or 3G – Niue relies on a single satellite uplink – it’s easy to think that IPv6 may not be a critical requirement. However, throughout the workshop, the locals welcomed the concept and are looking forward to taking the initial steps to become IPv6-ready. They found the lab exercises quite intense, but were all enthusiastic to finish it.

At the end of the workshop, we were privileged to have Mr Dalton Tagelagi, the Minister of Infrastructure Ministry, and Mr Tutuli Heka, the Director of Telecom Niue, at the closing ceremony. Both of them have indicated an interest for more collaboration to further build the technical knowledge of the local engineers in Niue.

Finally, thanks must go to our hosts Telecom Niue/Post and Telecommunications Department of Niue and co-organizer Pacific Islands Telecommunication Association for their support prior to and during the workshop. Fakaue lahi (Thank you)!

IRM + IPv6 Workshop - Alofi, Niue

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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