Larry Hosken: New: Tag: undersea-cable

Link: Things & Movies

Fiji's TV and internet evolved, uhm, out of order. At least from an American point of view.

The embrace of video takes on more significance when one considers that television was not available in Fiji until almost a decade later, in part due to a political coup in 1987 and the government’s worries about external cultural influences. Video was a more ‘mobile’ technology whose circulation was less expensive than the development of a national broadcast infrastructure. Therefore, in the 1980s, television in Fiji was imagined in relation to video, rather than the other way around. …

While in the 1980s video centers were privileged in the absence of television, the DVD store has emerged in a social landscape where much of Fiji’s population does not have regular access to high-speed Internet. Many islanders have cell phones, but these are not used widely as platforms for downloading and viewing visual media. This is not a problem with the country’s international connectivity: Fiji has been a key telecommunications node since the early 1900s. The Southern Cross communications cable, a primary route for United States-Australia Internet traffic, lands in Fiji on its way across the Pacific. Many of the video transmissions between the United States and Australia pass within several miles of these stores. The high pricing of bandwidth, however, has meant that access has been out of reach for most islanders, at least until the liberalization of the telecommunications sector brought down prices over the last few years. Thus results the unique situation where those who can afford it can get better Internet access than many places in the United States.

Interesting article Things & Movies: DVD Store Culture in Fiji by Nicole Starosielski

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