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Regional Meetings on Telecommunications Issues

22-30 August 2004; Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, Fiji.

Under its annual workplan, PITA (Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association) organised a number of technical workshops on key issues to coincide with a Regional meeting on ICT for the Pacific and APNIC 18 th Open Policy Meeting held in Nadi on 25-27 August and 31August-3 rd September 2004 respectively.

Regional Meeting on ICT for the Pacific

The Regional meeting on ICT for the Pacific was held over three days from 25 th to 27 th August 2004 and was a result of an ongoing commitment from APT and respective governments from Australia and Japan to promote and develop ICT, ICT applications and uptake in the region. This particular meeting was focused to build joint initiatives and projects to help the region in ICT. Of the various issues discussed, the issues of Internet such as Spam and appropriate model ICT Legislations for the Pacific Islands received a lot of interests. The delegations from the Australian government co-presented with Cook Islands on a panel on the need for ICT model Legislation for the Pacific Island countries to help combat cyber crimes and abuse and in particular to prepare the small islands and developing economies of the Pacific in stopping any illegal activists from operating in their countries. The Deputy Director of APT made a response to bring this up to the next APT Management Committee meeting scheduled for November 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Other contributions to the regional cooperation in ICT were presented from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, ICANN and GAC, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Government of Australia and various PIC government and member representatives at this meeting. The meeting was officially opened by the Honorable Minister of Communications Mr. Simione Kaitani from the government of the Republic of Fiji.

APNIC 18 th Open Policy Meeting

For the first time in the region, APNIC held its major annual event, the Open Policy Meeting at the Sheraton Hotel, Nadi from 31 st August to 3 rd September 2004. The APNIC 18 included tutorials and plenary sessions on issues of IP addressing and internet resource management.

PITA holds a MOU with APNIC for cooperation in fields of capacity building in the Pacific and has held a series of joint training events on Internet Resources management for members and ISPs from the region. This will continue and already joint training plans are in process.

For cost savings and effectiveness, and where appropriate PITA organise its technical workshops around major events. The various technical workshops organised in Nadi Fiji prior to the Regional meeting On ICT with APT and APNIC 18 was intended on such reasons and also to bring together larger forums of experts, peers and friends in the field of communication and information technology.

The technical workshops were as follows;

Interconnection Issues Workshop

One of the technical workshops organised were to help members and key players in the region address issues in Interconnections, a necessary issue to enable inter operability of network and service providers and, in particular where liberalizations are anticipated. Conducted by Mr. Jim Holmes of Ovum Pty Ltd, the workshop on Interconnection was conducted over two days which included in depth discussions of key elements, drivers and practices, which included commercial and costing issues, technical issues and administrative issues. Also included in the workshop was a hands-on exercise and role play on Interconnection negotiation as a practical work to look at issues from different perspectives of provider, interconnect seeker and regulator. The two-day workshop from 23 rd to 24 th August 2004 was supported by the Department of Communications Information technology & Arts (DCITA) and was attended by 33 delegates from 11 Pacific Island countries and representatives from the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

GSM Mobile Frequency Shifting Repeater Technology workshop

A technical one-day workshop to look into the new frequency shifting repeater technology for GSM mobile repeaters was also held in conjunction with other PITA meetings at the Nadi International Hotel, Fiji. The workshop covered Principles and Concepts of GSM Networks and Alternatives to system extensions. That included Comparisons of the non-translating repeaters and its uses as opposed to the frequency translating repeater; and its uses, and Practical considerations to be understood in implementing repeaters for GSM system extension. 9 Pacific Island countries attended this workshop to help them look for appropriate technologies for their needs and in particular for effective technologies to help them extend services and address the challenges for access of communication services to small and dispersed populations spread over terrain and wide expanse of oceans. The workshop was organised in conjunction with the Technology Provider - LTD Technologies, Australia and PITA Associate member; Powercom Group, Australia.

Lightning Protections technical workshop

The Pacific Islands like other highly lightning prone regions are vulnerable to damages from static storms and lightning strikes. To help members advance their knowledge in lightning issues and the technologies available to develop resilient communications systems, a technical workshop on Lightning protection was organised in series with the PITA meetings at Nadi International Hotel, Fiji. The one-day workshop included key topics on understanding principles, effects and risks of lightning and various techniques of making communication equipment and buildings resilient to lightning attacks. "I will go back home and change the current designs of our Earthing" was one of the positive feedbacks from delegates . This technical workshop organised with the Novaris Pty Ltd of Australia was attended by 19 engineers and technical staffs from 11 members from the region.

ISP-IXP Network Training

In recognizing the crucial role of IT for the region, a training to help build capacity in the field of IT in particular with ISP - IXP Networking and routing was jointly organised for the Pacific Islands with the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre - APNIC. ITU provided fellowships to bring technical engineers from 15 Pacific Island countries. In all, 28 delegates attended the 4 days intensive hands-on training conducted by Dr Philip Smith from CISCO.

For any queries or any further information, please contact:

Mr. Fred Christopher
Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA)
Tel: +679 3311 638
Fax: +679 3308 750

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