“Bully Tactics” says Kaniu Internet Provider
In the battle of providing internet services to the island, the government, via its trading agencies, has ordered the removal of Kaniu’s wifi equipment from the tall masts at Fonuakula and Seikena. Internet Service Provider Kaniu has been using the facilities to extend its coverage. The privately owned company is in direct competition, with the government owned Telecom Niue.
The current stoush between government and Kaniu started when the latter announced that it was no longer able to provide free internet, hitherto funded with proceeds from the sale of Niue’s top level domain name dotNU [.nu]. Telecom Niue had by that stage, following complaints from businesses over the slow and at times unreliable IUS-N service, started its own internet service using its network of copper wire. Government argued at that time that the Internet User Society – Niue, forerunner to Kaniu, had lost its mandate to operate as an internet service provider when it moved from ‘free internet’ to a paid service.
Government told IUSN to cease its operation and demanded the removal of IUSN’s transmit/receive equipment from government-owned tall masts. After some negotiations, Kaniu was allowed to continue to operate with a paid service propped up with some assistance from the marketers of dotNU, using the government owned masts at Seikena and Fonuakula.
Both internet service providers, Telecom Niue and Kaniu then embarked on a competitive mission to try and improve their services. Telecom pitched a wider band-width hence a faster speed and better reliability but with a cap on data. Kaniu on the other hand improved their band-width and offer unlimited download. Those who preferred reliability and speed opted for Telecom as their internet service provider; those who were more into social media and streaming video opted for the slower Kaniu.
Kaniu is continuing to offer its service but only in Alofi, Hakupu, Lakepa, Mutalau, Tuapa and Kaimiti. They are able to do this by installing satellite dishes at these locations. Areas currently without service include Tamakautoga, Avatele, Vaiea, Liku, Makapu, Tapeu, Fonuakula, Huihui and the airport area. These villages will be covered in due course according to Kaniu’s press release on Facebook. In the same statement Kaniu had accused the government of bullying tactics.
As to be expected Kaniu supporters have taken to social media to lend their support, but what is noticeable this time is the number of posts from actual island residents as compared to the diaspora. Local posts however still remain small in comparison to Auckland, Sydney, etc.
Meantime Telecom Niue is pushing ahead with its installation of their faster 4G network.
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