WiFi nation expands coverage

The day when all villages on Niue have WiFi internet coverage is drawing closer.

Four weeks ago a WiFi connection was established in Tamakautoga village and this is now being tested by local residents. This follows the connection of Mutulau, the northernmost village, in May.

Most Niueans have had access to WiFi since the capital Alofi was connected in 2003. But extending coverage to some of the smaller villages has proved to be a challenge.

“In Mutulau, for example, coral cliffs and dense vegetation meant transmission was impossible unless we had access to an elevated site,” says Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui, owner of Rocket Systems, the firm that provides on-the-ground services for Internet Niue, the country’s ISP.

“Special thanks go to the Mutulau village council – especially vice chairman Frank Sioneholo. He negotiated with Niue Telecom to get us access to their tower as well as funding to repair corrosion damage that made it unsafe. For two months now our transmitter has been sending a strong and stable signal from the tower.”

Bill Semich, president of the Internet Users Society (IUSN) that funds Internet Niue, says the network’s capacity was quadrupled earlier this year. This means Internet Niue is able to comfortably handle the increased traffic from the households in Mutulau, Tamakautoga and the five villages that have yet to go on-line – Vaiea, Hikutavake, Makefu, Namukulu and Toi.

“Rocket is giving priority to the installation of WiFi services in these remaining villages by the end of the year,” he says.

WiFi is an ideal technology for tropical islands where the climate, soils, terrain and salt spray combine to make it difficult and costly to maintain reliable networks based on copper wire.

Background note

The Internet Users Society – Niue (IUSN), the designated manager of the .nu internet domain, funds free internet services for the people of Niue. Rocket Systems Limited is a family-owned Niue IT business contracted by IUSN to deliver the services provided by Internet Niue.

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For more information, please contact Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui, Tel +683 4638 (office)

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