During the question time at the University of the South Pacific’s 50th anniversary presentation on Wednesday, the island administration’s executive officer, Arthur Neale, spoke of the immense trouble that the island encounters accessing USP online services.
“When we go onto the USP website for a tutorial session, it’s a no go, it doesn’t happen. Our reality is spending half an hour to an hour trying to get data on research to do academic studies,” Neale said.
“I remember that it was Papa Ron (the late professor Ron Crocombe), who said that we need educated carpenters and fishermen. I came from an island of fishing people, and they need to be educated.”
Neale asked Brown to relay to Bluesky that they needed to improve their network services to Palmerston, to cater for students taking USP courses.
Brown responded by saying that the incoming Moana Cable system (a 14,000 kilometre cable between New Zealand, Australia and the United States), which is expect to be in service around June this year, would help to alleviate the concerns.
“What the cable does, it comes to Rarotonga and Aitutaki initially, is allow us to provide more satellite bandwidth,” Brown explained.
That bandwidth will be relayed by satellite to the Pa Enua (outer islands), which will provide Palmerston with a glut of data to use on whatever they like.
Despite the cost and time that has come with getting the cable in, Brown said that the government was committed to seeing it through.