Promoting Economic Development

As more individuals develop networking skills in Fiji, Internet connectivity options throughout the region are becoming more affordable and accessible.

Prior to the arrival of the Cisco Networking Academy program in Fiji, network development on the island was relatively slow and technology support crews were mostly trained without any hands-on experience. Over the last few years, the technological landscape in Fiji has improved dramatically, as evidenced by the widespread adoption of broadband networks. These networks now provide more affordable Internet connectivity options for users.

Networking Academy allows individuals to gain practical networking experience that helps them prepare for information and communication technology (ICT) careers throughout the Pacific Islands and beyond. Rishan Grounder is a Networking Academy graduate who has helped increase the level of technology expertise in Fiji, using Cisco’s various training modules.

Grounder’s knowledge of networking was limited to a computer science course provided through his university before he completed the Cisco Networking Academy curricula. He attributes his success to both his Networking Academy and University experience. “The university provided me with very good theoretical knowledge that complemented the practical knowledge that I gained in the Academy, enhancing my overall learning experience.”

Although it was a challenge to juggle his day job, university courses, and Networking Academy courses, Grounder recalls his Academy experience fondly. In particular, he recognizes the value of the lab sessions, which allow participants to gain hands-on experience while troubleshooting issues that occur in real networking equipment. “The mistakes we make really allow us to learn,” explains Grounder. “Instructors were also always on hand to assist and guide us.”

After graduating, Grounder accepted a job offer from Trans Pacific Union, which enables him to apply his knowledge to solving networking problems. Grounder maintains WANs, VPNs, firewalls, and individual LANs across the Pacific region, including networks in several offshore island nations.

Fiji is one of the more connected nations in the Pacific, with broadband access. In comparison to other island nations in the vicinity, Internet costs are lower in Fiji than in neighboring regions, which use satellite links for connectivity. As more individuals gain advanced networking technology skills through Cisco Networking Academy, people living on the surrounding islands may gain access to more cost-effective methods of communication and connecting to the Internet.