ITU conducts Satellite Training in Vanuatu

Mr. Atipayakoon (seated at the centre) with Trainer Keith on his left, an Engineer from Tonga. On his right is

a rep from TRR along with participants from the Pacific countries, including Vanuatu. Photo: Kizzy Kalsakau

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) held a historic 2-day training for Pacific countries from Wednesday, May 17 to Thursday May 18 in Port Vila.

This is the first such training organised by the ITU for Pacific countries and it coincided with the 2017 Pacific ICT Days at the Convention Centre.

Mr. Wisit Atipayakoon, the Program officer ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, based in Bangkok, Thailand explains that ITU has a project on the satellite connectivity in the Pacific, which has been undertaken since 2016.

“The idea is we are going to put up some systems in remote areas, in Pacific Island Countries,” he said.

“We need to make sure that people know how to install this system and make it work.

“People have realised that ICT, especially internet is really important.

“It is opening new doors, giving a lot of opportunities so they will be benefiting a lot if we give them the opportunity to access the Internet.

“We have to face that a lot of people, particularly in the Pacific region and those living in the outer islands don’t have the access while people in the cities, like us have connectivity and access internet easily so this is important.”

On the question of affordability, he replies: “With satellites, the cost of operations and maintenance is a bit higher than other means so we have to do some trade off.

“If we believe that communication is a human right, that is something that the Government has to do.

“The cost is high but it is going down because the development of new technologies is going to reduce the price. Mr. Atipayakoon was part of the Vanuatu Nightly News (VNN) wrap-up with host Kizzy Kalsakau on Thursday evening. The ITU is an agency of the United Nations, whose purpose is to coordinate telecommunication operations and services throughout the world.

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