Wednesday, August 23, 2006

PacINET 2006 Day 3

Vint and Miss Samoa made the headlines and front page of this morning's newspaper :)

During a breakfast meeting, Vint and I continued where we left off last night and then headed off to the conference venue which today was at the National University of Samoa. Today was the big show and tell day. The Prime Minister of Samoa led the introduction of Vint who then presented his keynote on the state of the Internet and what the future holds. Jimmie Rodgers, SPC Director-General followed Vint, and he had some bold and candid comments to make on the state of the Pacific and the lack of political will by some Pacific leaders. Last year I said, Jimmie was the right person for the position he now holds, and I reiterate the statement this year. We need more leaders like him.

The PacINET Forum discussed how we can build the Digital Pacific. We heard several perspectives from panellists (who were from varied backgrounds and areas of expertise) covering policy, political, technical and social impacts and challenges. The conclusion I drew was that it is important to use appropriate technology, and sometimes the fastest and biggest is not necessarily the best solution. We need to have cheaper and wider access to broadband technologies, and must seriously consider aggregation of available bandwidth to ensure we truly move towards a digital pacific, and to an information or knowledge based society. Broadcast radio is also an important tool in achieving this and sometimes we forget that broadcast radio is king in the Pacific, and we must find new ways to use this to meet the digital pacific objectives. Vint Cerf summarised this as "novel and new use of old delivery mechanisms". Overall the forum was interesting and there was interactive between the panellists and audience as well as the webcast audience.

The afternoon saw the PICISOC AGM. There was an address by Vint to the AGM followed by the usual stuff. Of interest is the establishment of various new SIGs including IPv6 and New Media amongst others. Solomon Islands will host PacINET 2007 in Honiara in August. The involvement of Pacific Island countries in ICANN's GAC was also emphasised. The AGM concluded without any major drama.

The evening saw Vint and myself at a private dinner with the Samoan Prime Minister and selected Government officials. Some interesting discussions and let's see how they play out.

No comments: