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Face to face


Face to face

The University that first brought the Internet to New Zealand will next month be hosting the third annual New Zealand Network Operators Group (NZNOG) conference.

The conference will be hosted by the Waikato University WAND Network Research Group from 29 – 30 January 2004. Staff from network companies including Telecom, Ihug, Cisco and others from around the country will meet to discuss networking issues in New Zealand.

Conference organiser and leader of the WAND group, Professor Tony McGregor, says the conference is an opportunity for technical staff from different ISPs, private network operators and equipment manufacturers to meet face to face and talk about current developments in New Zealand networks.

“Even Internet professionals need to meet face to face at times to facilitate more effective electronic discussion and to deal with difficult issues.” says Professor McGregor.

One hot topic for discussion at the conference will be the delicate issue of ‘peering’. Peering provides a mutual crossroads between participating ISPs, allowing them to bypass using otherwise costly connections for communications between each other. Telephone calls over the Internet and wireless networks are other high profile topics that will be discussed.

The NZNOG conference evolved from a mailing list that has been hosted by Waikato University since 1998. The list now has approximately 400 people subscribed to it, including staff in large companies like Telecom and Ihug as well as smaller local equipment manufacturers, service providers and private network operators.

“The NZNOG conference brings everyone up to speed on what is happening in New Zealand networks, as well as providing the opportunity to hear from overseas visitors,” says Professor McGregor.

International speakers confirmed for the 2004 conference include Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist in the Internet area for Telstra and responsible for the initial build of the Internet within the Australian academic and research sector. Philip Smith, a member of the Internet Architectures Group of Consulting Engineering who works with many ISPs in the Asia Pacific region and the rest of the world, is also confirmed to speak.

In 2002 and 2003 the NZNOG conference was held as part of the UniForum NZ gathering but this year is the first stand-alone conference for the group.

More information can be found on the conference website: http://www.nznog.org

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