After the last NZIX AGM, our membership discussed a decline of incoming talent and an aging incumbent population. It was noted that the membership believed tertiary education institutions were not currently teaching the skills needed for the field, and historically, people learned by making mistakes on residential ISP’s. Unfortunately, the tolerance around faults has reduced in recent years, and all ISP’s, residential and business alike, strive for the best uptimes.

NZIX finds itself in an interesting position as a well-connected organisation within New Zealand with relationships with some LFC’s, many RSP’s as well as some CDN’s/Clouds, as well as being a neutral not-for-profit with capital to invest in initiatives that will better New Zealand’s Internet.

We are proposing to build an educational environment connected to actual, full table transit, real Internet Exchanges, and participating LFC’s. Users of the environment will be able to deploy switches, routers, and Linux containers to construct a working ISP. Further, users will be able to connect to VISP at their homes/offices using standard UFB connections as ‘customers’ of the ISP they build or adapt.

The initial target of the educational environment is the NZIX membership, with longer-term potential relationships being developed with tertiary education providers. If all goes well, we could also extend the learning to high school students online or within schools via the NZCA unit standard.

We are very excited about this prospective project and what this would mean for the future of our Internet; however, please keep in mind that we are in the beginning stages of speaking with vendors and testing the general viability of the project. Rest assured, we will keep you up-to-date with the project as developments happen.

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