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UH President David Lassner and Research and Education Network of New Zealand CEO Nicole Ferguson sign the memorandum of understanding in Auckland.

The University of Hawaiʻi and the Research and Education Network of New Zealand (REANNZ) have entered into a memorandum of understanding to advance high-speed data networking in the Pacific.

The memorandum was signed by UH President David Lassner and Nicole Ferguson, REANNZ chief executive officer, at the Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) meeting in Auckland.

REANNZ, the research and education network that interconnects New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes, recently activated its new connectivity into the global research and education network fabric on the new Hawaiki fiber optic cable system running from New Zealand to Australia and the U.S. mainland via Hawaiʻi.

The memorandum outlines assistance UH will provide in connecting REANNZ to Asian research and education networks via Hawaiʻi and Guam. It also articulates a shared interest in bringing research and education networks to the Pacific islands, which have been historically unserved and unconnected.

Keynote address at data networking conference

Lassner provided the keynote address at the APAN conference in August. The gathering welcomed more than 300 networking experts from throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Hong Kong.

No stranger to the group, UH has hosted the APAN meeting four times, beginning in 2001. Lassner’s keynote, “Pacific networking: The voyage continues,” focused on the explosion of new fiber optic projects in the Pacific.

While in New Zealand, Lassner also visited Wellington and met with government officials and REANNZ. He provided perspectives on global research and education networking, and opportunities for New Zealand, particularly with its new capacity via the Hawaiki fiber system.

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