Aug 24, 2019 Last Updated 5:21 AM, Aug 23, 2019

Vanuatu eyes growth of DOT VU

  • Aug 24, 2019
  • Published in March

VANUATU’S telecom regulator has welcomed the recent move by the ICAAN (Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers) to reassign to it the country’s country-code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) name DOT VU (.vu).

ICAAN manages Internet identifiers globally, including Top Level Domain names for countries and generic names like .com and .org.

Since 1995 and the early days of the Internet in the Pacific region, Vanuatu’s ccTLD had been assigned to Telecom Vanuatu Ltd (TVL) and has been the subject of an ongoing tussle for control between TVL and the Vanuatu Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR), which has finally been handed the mantle after ICAAN’s board meeting on March 14 in Kobe, Japan.

“These changes set the scope for a competitive market for .vu domain names,” TRBR said in a statement.

“TRBR has created an environment where multiple Registrars can make their own unique offerings and pricing for .vu names. TRBR wants to encourage the other local Internet Service Providers and possibly web designers to consider becoming Registrars or Resellers of .vu names. A strong collaboration between TRBR and the new Registry Operator is expected to lead to growth of the number of .vu names through international Registrars and resellers across the Internet,” TRBR added.

Over the years and without appropriate laws in Vanuatu, .vu has been at the brunt of domain name abuses, so-called cybersquatting – where ‘squatters’ register and buy domain names cheaply then resell them at higher prices. This emerged as a major concern for the tiny island nation in 2013.

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

THE worldwide grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 aircrafts has prompted the Government of Samoa to defer the commissioning of its new Boeing 737 MAX 9, which was to have taken place next month (April 2019).

Recent air disasters involving the Boeing 737 MAX 8 have forced the hands of airlines around the world to ground their aircraft, and prompted Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America and China to slap a ban on the 737 MAX series in their airspaces.

“The crash of two brand new 737 MAX 8 within the span of five months has shaken the world of aviation and unless we have received clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration, the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority and Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety, we will not bring that aircraft to Samoa,” Minister of Public Enterprises Lautafi Selafi Purcell told the Samoa Observer.

Last month, an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed six minutes after takeoff from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing all 148 passengers and eight crew members on board.

On October 29 last year, Indonesian airline Lion Air flight JT610 destined for Pangkal Pinang in Indonesia crashed 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport, killing 184 passengers and five crewmembers on board.

Both accidents involved a Boeing 737 MAX 8.

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

Scanning the story of a fish

Imagine typing a code from a can of tuna into your phone as you stand in a supermarket aisle to find out where the fish in the can was caught, and the name of the ship which landed it.

This is the vision of information technology professional Ken Katafono, who is breaking new grounds in the Pacific.

He has just launched TraSeable Solutions Pte Ltd, a fully home-grown tech start-up specialising in the provision of blockchain-based traceability solutions to the region’s fishing industry.

It’s a pioneering move, given that blockchain (or Distributed Ledger Technology as it is often referred to) is in its infancy in the region.

The company says the technology it provides will provide a degree of transparency for our region’s fishing industry that has never been seen before.

The Blockchain Supply Chain Traceability Project uses digital technology to strengthen the supply chain management of the fresh and frozen tuna sectors in the Western and Central Pacific regions.

It is a collaboration involving TraSeable, WWF through WWF-New Zealand, WWF-Australia and WWF-Fiji, global tech innovator ConsenSys, and tuna fishing and processing company Sea Quest Fiji ltd.

By using blockchain-based traceability solutions, a tuna product can be traced back to the original fish caught, as fishermen are required to register their catch on the blockchain through Radio Frequency Tagging (RFID) and scanning of fish.

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

Derailed by the huge devastation wrought by super-cyclone Winston in 2016. Fiji’s exclusive J. Hunter Pearls is back on the path of restoring what it lost and at the same time doubled up on its efforts in ocean conservation.

In addition to building back stronger by commissioning its new million dollar hatchery, J. Hunter Pearls through its principals Justin Hunter and wife Leanne have hit the road promoting their blue pledge concept.

“We lost 30km of long lines with some 120,000 young oysters, our showroom destroyed, jetty gone, and our hatchery completely destroyed. Loss of infrastructure, value of lost income puts at about F$6 million,” said Hunter. “This year and next will see us producing roughy just 1 / 5 of expected pearls.”

Instead of throwing in the towel, Hunter resolved in a meeting with his 51-member staff after Winton that they would rebuild and continue to grow the business located in the coastal town of Savusavu in northern Fiji.

“This is about resilience, about people about island communities that have a very few options for earning foreign exchange,”

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

Unconfirmed reports have emerged that the Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH) in Fiji is now fully owned by the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).

The historic building, local landmark and well known icon of South Pacific tourism has been the subject of months of negotiation among its three shareholders – the FNPF (25%), Papua New Guinea’s National Superannuation Fund (NASFUND - 50%) and PNG-based property development firm Lamana Development (25%).

It is understood the PNG partners were divesting, barely 10 years after they bought into it and that FNPF was in talks with them for a total buyout.

Although no official word has been issued, sources close to the negotiations informed Islands Business that the deal had closed and that the PNG partners were treated to a farewell dinner. All three parties remained tightlipped on the development and questions sent to them remained unanswered.

NASFUND had bought into GPH in 2010 for a reported F$90 million (USD42.23m), which included 50 per cent of the businesses and refurbishing the building, which had remained derelict and empty ever since the Nauru Government, which had previously owned it via its Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust, bought it in 1988 but could not keep up with the deterioration until it had to close it in 1992.

The Fijian Government of 2000, under Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry expropriated the property just before the coup of that year.

The plan to restore the then derelict building was taken up by successive governments, which finally led to FNPF’s involvement in its ownership in 2005, when the property was bought by a joint venture between the now scrapped FNPF Investment Ltd (80%) and the now disbanded Fiji Investment Corporation Ltd (20%), a former government investment vehicle operational under Laisenia Qarase’s prime ministership.

It is not known how much the PNG owners have now sold their shares for and if they have managed to recover their investments.

Now redesigned and refurbished, the ‘Grand Ole Lady’, as the GPH is more commonly referred to, was built in 1914 by Union Steamship Company and sits on a portion of over two hectares of land along the foreshore of Suva harbour.

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
Ok Decline