It’s not a criticism, just stating reality

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Dear Editor,

Re: Of low hanging fruits and Samoa

Mr. Vai Autu, prepare for further annoyance and maybe read and re-read before making assumptions.

I am not an American, but am a well educated Australian with more than 30 years experience in the IT and Communications industry. I have been a regular visitor to Samoa at least once a year since 2006 and have been a resident here in Savaii since 2013.

I used references to Australian industries that have greatly benefited from organised regulation and control as an example, not suggesting that these same industries are needed in Samoa. Obviously the Samoan industries like cocoa, coconut products, taro, etc. would benefit from such assistance.

As for Samoan education, I have a son going through this process locally and without fail I have been very disappointed with the quality I see here in Samoa. Experiences with many school leavers, socially, as a customer and as an employer don’t fill me with praise for the Samoan education system either, no doubt it is significantly better compared to when you went through it, but still has a long way to go.

Call centres of 10 years ago were much more dependent on time zone positioning, but nowadays it is less important with advances in communications,. What is more important is the appropriate workforce and low cost of running.

Data centres rely on cheap, reliable power as much as they rely on expertise and infrastructure. Who in their right mind would invest millions building one here where we have less than reliable and very expensive power and regular natural disasters to interrupt such ventures. Also, Samoa may well be a gateway to tge south pacific, but as an aggregating hub for internet traffic, we really do not cover a big enough regional traffic volume to make it worthwhile.

This is not a criticism of Samoa, just stating the reality.

The low hanging fruit in the case of all these cables is to improve educational facilities and deliver cheaper band with to the Samoan people, enabling applications such as content streaming to become viable here as it is in so many other countries.

So, hopefully I have cleared up some of your false assumptions. I love Samoa and have chosen to live here and want to see nothing more than for things to progress, but in a manner and direction that is appropriate and does not waste valuable and scarce resources chasing white elephants that seems to happen too often here.

 

Kevin Hartin

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