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Work on PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment ICT services progresses

PNG UNRE ICT Special Services team and the ICT Technical team have been working tirelessly to improve ICT services at UNRE Campus.
This was one of the 26 recommendations in the 2013 External Audit.
The team is led by Quality Assurance Officer Josephine Lowe. She is assisted by Database & Information System Administrator Leo Darius; Database Officer Sophie Matane and ICT Service Support Officer Ashlee Kunan.
The team reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor.
The first task achieved was the launch and the changeover of the University Internet Service Provider from Excite PNG to Telikom PNG. 
“We were allocated 10MBps (megabytes per second) bandwidth or speed. This speed was tested and verified by Telikom Technicians and ICT Manager, PNG UNRE. However, there have been many variables affecting connectivity in delivering data to our end users on campus,” said Mr Darius.
Mr Darius explained that currently users can expect on average 3-5 Mbps download and upload speeds basically because the current infrastructure cannot deliver the required connectivity speed, hence the current infrastructure needs to be upgraded. 
The team is now working on the infrastructure design and costing pending verification before it goes through NICTA for Quality assurance and approval. 
Mr Darius said: “The design captures the span of internet access to cater for more than 5,000 plus end-users with upgraded switches and hardware infrastructure to deliver the required connectivity speed. Meaning while we have the access we also upgrade the infrastructure to deliver the required connectivity speed to end-user access.”
He added that the scope of the ICT Network Infrastructure and other supporting infrastructures also includes Cabling, University Records Systems and Backup Power to support the ICT Network. 
“The critical aspect of the ICT Network is Power. The team with assistance from the Policy, Planning and Monitoring Evaluation Section has submitted an interest for funding for the installation of the Backup Solar Power and ICT Network Systems,” explained Mr Darius. 
Mr Darius mentioned that in terms of the short term fixes discussed during the section meetings, the team will be working with the ICT technical team and Telikom PNG to sort out connectivity issues currently being experienced by end-users on campus. 
They will also be installing and connecting key sections who are experiencing connectivity issues with Fixed Wireless Broadband Routers so that this system is used as an alternative for Internet connectivity when the main cable connectivity is down.  
“The main students Records Database is in progress. The new University Student Records Systems is currently being built as a Web-based System which will mean it can be accessible by both staff and students either over the internet or on the local area network. 
“The Records System is being designed and developed by our Database Programmer, Mrs Sophie Matane using XAMPP which is an open-source application,” he said. 
The University Electronic Records System will be linked to most of the sections of the University as per the diagram below.

The PNG UNRE proposed ATLU Records System currently under development.

Mr Darius explained that at this stage, the UNRE ICT Audit report by the External Auditor is in draft and most of the recommendations are being implemented by University Management and the Special Services Team.
The team acknowledged and thanked University Vice-Chancellor Dr Pongie Kichawen and the University Management for their support in ensuring that work progresses smoothly.


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