Under the banner Access for All, the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) is organising PacINET 2012, the annual regional ICT and internet governance conference, which is under way at the Japan Pacific ICT Centre at the University of the South Pacific (USP).It will continue until 26 November.
Hosted jointly by the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), along with other partner organisations and sponsors, the conference was opened by Professor Rajesh Chandra, USP Vice-Chancellor. Among the distinguished speakers who attended and presented at the opening session were Mr Martin Cocker, Executive Director of Netsafe, New Zealand; and Ms Maureen Hilyard, PICISOC Board Chair, who is based in Cook Islands.
The conference brought together many stakeholders from the various organisations to a single platform to discuss the dynamics of ICT and the internet, and how to make it accessible to all Pacific Islanders. It will take time to bridge the digital divide and provide internet connectivity and access, but if partner organisations, member countries, members of PICISOC and other ICT stakeholders work together, using a multi-stakeholder platform, then people in many walks of life - ICT professionals, technicians, policy makers, government agencies, telecom operators, internet service providers, academics, lawyers, police forces, the informal sector and ICT students - will be able to share ideas and learn from experience about using ICT and the internet for development. This will go a long way towards providing access to all.
The conference will have presentations and panel discussions, and major ICT and internet development stakeholders will be present in the panel discussions. As part of PacINET, APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre), a non-profit organisation providing internet addressing services to Asian and Pacific countries, is hosting a four day course on domain name systems (DNS) and network security in Fiji. The APNIC secretariat is responsible for maintaining the public APNIC Whois Database and managing reserve DNS zone delegations; they focus on the development of internet infrastructure throughout the region.
To honour and mark the 20th anniversary of the Internet Society (ISOC), a special function was held on Wednesday 21 November. The Pacific Islands Chapter, which is affiliated to ISOC, promotes development, evolution and the use of the internet for all.
The main sponsor of PacINET 2012 is Vodafone Fiji. Other sponsors and partners of the conference include the Government of Fiji, Office Products-Graphics Equipment Limited/Dell Fiji, Datec Fiji, Oceanic Communications, Pacific Island Regulatory Resource Centre, Pacific Internet Partners, and the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre.