27 Mar 2006

Accessibility and affordability are two key issues for Pacific ICT strategy meeting

8:17 pm on 27 March 2006

The Solomon Islands internet service, the People First Network, or PFnet, is being touted as the type of service that the rest of the Pacific might also use.

Improving access to ICT is why officials from the 16 Pacific Islands Forum countries meet from tomorrow in Wellington.

They are here to develop a regional digital strategy as promised under the Pacific Plan.

New Zealand's associate minister of Pacific Islands affairs, Luamnuvao Winnie Laban, is a fan of PFnet which provides low cost internet throughout much of Solomon Islands.

She says such a system along side what New Zealand could also help with, might solve two key issues.

"Accessibility is a major issue. There are also issues around affordability. But there is also a lot of potential for us to start to build a comprehensive digital strategy in the region that addresses the variance in need from small islands like Tokelau right through to Papua New Guinea."