WHEN the Volcom Fiji Pro was held in the last two weeks, surfing the net was just as important as surfing the waves at Cloudbreak Reef in Tavarua.
If anything, the global viewing of the fourth leg of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour depended much on high speed internet.
ASP’s Matt Wilson said with live webcasts and millions watching across the globe, access to high speed internet with the capacity to carry a lot of bandwidths was important.
“There’s no question of Fiji’s capability in ICT to host such events,” he added. And it was also important for media companies such as Channel Nine from Australia, which needed to send footage across, he added.
“The indirect benefits to Fiji is huge because apart from hosting people who were spending money here, the images of Fiji were also going across the world,” he added.
Digicel Fiji’s head of ICT, Craig Smith said they provided an internet solution that suited the needs of the organisers.
Digicel manager of ICT sales, Ravisa Daunivuka said they provided internet speed of about 20 megabytes per second.
There were dedicated engineers placed on the island with back up equipments to prevent any failure.
There was a link to the judging panel on Cloudbreak Reef and one on the island. Wifi access was provided for all athletes and guests on Tavarua Island.
To provide some perspective on what the connection meant to Fiji and the world, Mr Daunivuka said it was telecast on Fuel TV which has about 3.7million viewers, Time Warner- which has about 14million subscribers. There was also web live streaming with an estimated 1.6million viewers who watched for an hour.
Mr Daunivuka said one of the major outcomes for the event for his company was that they were able to deliver a flawless solution.
In addition, the service would have boosted the confidence of both local and foreign investors to host high profile events in central or even the remote events in Fiji.
It gave credibility on the local expertise in the ICT industry. The internet solution also enabled Fiji’s exposure as a destination across the world.