The founder and owner of Kaniu, Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui said he was alerted to an internet outage on Sunday night by some of their customers from Alofi area that there was no internet connection affecting customers from Alofi south to Alofi north. They could not attend to the call until Monday morning, which was when they discovered the damage looked very suspicious so they contacted the Police.
“There was quite a bit of damage to one of the antennae located at Halamahaga. With the Police there, we found that it (the antennae) was definitely shot at”.
Kaniu has been operating since 2003 as Niue’s first internet service provider and they have never experienced any deliberate attempt to damage their equipment located around the island.
“Since 2003 we have been providing internet to the people and our understanding with all our people is that the antennae and the WiFi system we provide, provide great service to the people of Niue”.
He said that in the years they have operated the people have not given them grief over their equipment or attempt to damage the equipment. “Because of that understanding that it serves a purpose for everyone so if something was to happen then obviously everyone will be affected, but in this instance, it’s unfortunate and just sad to see this kind of thing happening in 2021”.
Mr Fakaotimanava-Lui said that there were obvious signs of gun-shot damage with gun pellets falling out from the antennae indicating that it was shot at multiple times.
“If the damage was reported to us perhaps we could’ve come to some understanding and just repaired and go our own way but there was definitely more than one shot, so it was done on purpose, using it as target practice”.
The case is now with the Police and they are investigating but Mr Fakaotimanava-Lui told BCN news that he is very disappointed at what happened especially because the equipment is there for a purpose, to provide internet service to their customers and people of Alofi.