Palikir Fiber Optic Cable Network Swings Into Action

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

News Release

FSM Information Services Palikir, Pohnpei, FSM

April 7, 2014

The Information Communication Technology Committee for the FSM national government met at the Department of Resources and Development to further review the status of the "Palikir Network Project" being pursued to improve ICT situations facing the nation’s central location.

The meeting was chaired by Jolden Johnnyboy, assistant secretary for communications, and attended by representatives from the legislative branch, the judiciary branch, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Finance and Administration, the Department of Resources and Development, the Office of Statistics, Budget and Economic Management, Overseas Development Assistance and Compact Management, the Office of Environment and Emergency Management and the Public Information Office.

Johnnyboy went through the formative background of the project based on a May 13, 2008 memorandum from FSM President Manny Mori.

The memo stated: "I have reviewed the current government expenditure on internet leased lines by individual department or office, and I found that we are spending an average of $8,500 a month for multiple connections without having any means to assess or analyze the efficiency of their contribution to productivity at the workplace."

Based on his observation, Mori put together the committee to investigate more cost-effective ways and "initiate the process of planning and implementation of a more consolidated infrastructure that will provide a unified intra-government communication system utilizing the right technology that allows security to be maintained while providing a shared link" with efficient connectivity.

It was reported at the meeting that to date, five offices are utilizing the fiber optic cable network with bandwidth of 10mMpbs namely the Department of TC&I, Office of SBOC, Congress office and the FSM Supreme Court main office.

FSMTelecom has endorsed the dedicated internet service agreement with the national government for the rate of $4,000 per month for 8Mbps.

While feeling ecstatic about bringing to real terms its mandate by the president, the committee acknowledged that a long way remains to ensure every office gets the benefit of the network and that the right level of management and support staff is in place to maintain the system in the longer term.

According to the IT’s responsible for connecting offices to the network, another migration date for transitioning offices from their former lines to the network will be in early April. Connection to the unified line depends on when each office feels ready to make the switch

The Network Operation Center is placed at the central facility at the Congress compound using available power-backup equipments to keep the network operable when the main "island power" blacks out.

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