In 1997, when the Foundation was founded, the country had dial-up internet access only. In January 1999, IUSN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Niue that acknowledged the Foundation’s role in providing free internet services to the government.
This MoU gave IUSN the security it needed to invest in a WiFi network – initially for the government, but now for all residents and visitors to Niue. This network includes satellite dishes, transmission towers and WiFi connections – a significant investment.
IUSN gets its income from the sale of .nu domain names by its associated company, .nu Domain Ltd – mainly to businesses in Sweden, where ‘nu’ means ‘now’.
Thanks to this unique arrangement, Niue has internet services which are the envy of most Pacific Islands. Indeed, Niue is the only country in the world in which all users have free, unlimited internet access. Upgrades in 2010 saw a 4-fold increase in satellite bandwidth.
A second satellite dish was installed at Toa in early 2011 and is now operating efficiently. This makes the satellite connection more reliable and will reduce the risk of Niue losing its internet connection as a result of storm damage or satellite failure.
The original dish at Kaimiti will provide a back-up service when negotiations with a second satellite service provider have been completed.
Today, Internet Niue transmissions cover almost all of Niue and only three small villages remain to be connected to its free WiFi network. These are expected to be connected in mid-2011.
Internet Niue has had to revise its development plans for 2011 as a result of a Government of Niue decision to use Internet Niue’s 900 mHz WiFi frequency for its new mobile phone network.
During 2011, some of our existing 900 mHz transmitters, including several that have been installed only recently, may need to be replaced with transmitters operating on other frequencies.