2023 ISIF Asia grant recipients announced

The APNIC Foundation is pleased to announce the  ISIF Asia grants for 2023.

The 24 grants – valued at a combined USD 2,284,109 – will fund projects in 17 economies, including Palau for the first time. The number of economies with recipients receiving an ISIF Asia grants now stands at 32 out of the 56 in the APNIC Foundation region.

The grants cover the three key program areas of the Foundation: Infrastructure, Inclusion and Knowledge, and are aimed at global, open, stable, and secure Internet that serves the entire Asia Pacific community.

The nine Infrastructure grants include five IPv6 Deployment grants, ranging from IPv6 enablement on National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) as well as virtual labs and automation, building links between supercomputers and introducing IPv6 to honeynet cybersecurity systems.

Other Infrastructure projects include connectivity initiatives, disaster resilience using hybrid green power support, and crowdsourcing data to check Internet speeds against the figures reported by telecommunications companies.

The seven Inclusion grants include connectivity and education initiatives for underserved rural areas, particularly in areas around hospitals. Other projects focus on improving access to government support for people with disabilities, as well as fostering e-commerce opportunities for women with disabilities. One initiative will focus on measures to improve conditions in Rohingya refugee camps by providing solar-powered connectivity and the opportunity to trade electricity.

The eight Knowledge grants cover numerous projects and include two Ian Peter Grants for Internet and the Environment, both of which focus on tackling the increasing prevalence of fires in the Asia Pacific in different ways. Other knowledge projects tackle Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing and anomalies, while another looks at implementing Multipath Transmission Control Protocol in FreeBSD.

For a full list of projects, see below.


Open Network Testbed Laboratory for Internet Technologies Deployment and Experimentation (ON-IDLE). Department of Science and Technology – Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI). The Philippines. USD 250,000.

DOST-ASTI has been a pioneer for IPv6 research in the Philippines since it set up a testbed in the early 2000s. Since then it has been advocating for IPv6 and runs the National Research and Education Network (NREN), known as the Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET).

The project aims to:

  • Set up an Open Networks Lab that will serve as testbed or staging platform for benchmarking, proof-of-concepts, use-cases, and collaborative research on new, experimental or enhanced network and Internet operations tools, systems or applications.
  • Enable IPv6 on existing products and services, such as: network measurement tool, Internet exchange, Eduroam, computing infrastructure, and community-based LTE network, and deploy these in existing as well as additional sites.
  • Assist local network operators on IPv6 and enable them to deploy IPv6 on their infrastructure.
  • Conduct IPv6 advocacy (IEC/Roadshow, training and deployment) in at least eight strategic sites nationwide.

This project is an IPv6 Deployment Grant.

Supercomputing Internet based on CERNET2 (IPv6). CERNET Corporation. China. USD 250,000.

The China Research and Education Network (CERNET) operates China’s first independent  IPv6-only backbone network (CERNET2) which now connects over 2,000 universities within China.

This proposal aims to deploy large-scale professional supercomputing resources, universities’ supercomputing resources, and other relevant social resources on CERNET2, their IPv6-only infrastructure while maintaining compatibility with IPv4 networks. This will help widely connect the supply and demand side in the high-performance computing field and facilitate heterogeneous integration among different supercomputing centres.

The proposal aims to:

  • Build high-speed interconnections among various supercomputing centers with 10Gbps/100Gbps access to IPv6 bandwidth.
  • Set up an environment for testing relevant supercomputing applications at supercomputing centers.
  • Design and develop a Computing Power Scheduling and Service Platform System.

This project is an IPv6 Deployment Grant.

IPv6 deployment in Unitel. Unitel LLC. Mongolia. USD 211,409.

As a leading telecommunications provider in Mongolia, Unitel began deploying IPv6 in 2023. Customer Premises Equipment (CPEs) support IPv6 but it is not enabled by default, which means customers must enable IPv6 manually. However, the CPEs do not support IPv6 firewalls exposing security risks to end users. This requires customizations.

This proposal aims to help achieve full-scale IPv6 deployment for all Unitel’s customers while remaining secure and efficient. There are three phases. The first is IPv6 deployment for household subscribers on a fixed domain. The second focuses on enterprise subscribers on the fixed network. The third phase will deploy IPv6 on the mobile domain.

The proposal aims to:

  • Provide software customizations on various type of CPEs with vendors to provide IPv6 Firewall function to decrease security risk.
  • Implement remote management systems such as TR069 to control all of CPEs to enable IPv6 and software upgrades.

Hybrid “green” power backup for reliable mobile data service: A model for remote Pacific islands using solar/wind/generator solutions to be tested at 5 cell sites. Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC). Palau. USD 150,000.

During the global pandemic, when Palau closed its borders and effectively halted all tourist arrivals, high-speed Internet connectivity became an even more critical. Work, learning and health care all required more remote usage.  This shows the need for a system that can ensure continuous uptime for mobile data users, especially during power outages and natural disasters.

This proposal aims to design and implement a new hybrid backup solution at five cell sites, using solar and wind turbine technology connecting to diesel-fueled generators and battery banks.

The proposal aims to:

  • Improve the reliability and stability of power backup support for continuity of mobile services.
  • Develop and test a model, innovative hybrid solution connecting solar and wind turbine technology to generators and battery backup, that can be replicated at all PNCC’s mobile network cell sites.

Accelerating IPv6 deployment in enterprises through strategic adoption, governance, and automation. Yayasan Badan Wakaf Universitas Islam Indonesia. Indonesia. USD 117,700.

The IPv6 anywhere, accelerating IPv6 adoption with multiple models of IPv6 deployments project found that while the lack of knowledge and understanding of IPv6 is a critical issue hampering adoption, this is only part of the problem. The sheer volume of equipment, such as routers, layer three switches, and servers that require renumbering with IPv6 addresses, poses an overwhelming challenge.

This proposal aims to:

  • Undertake research in gap analysis, needs assessment, automation and governance best practices, and establish project metrics
  • Deliver train-the-trainer activities to enhance the project team’s understanding of IPv6
  • Establish an IPv6 automation prototype using a virtual lab, which will serve as a practical example of how automation can be implemented
  • Deliver workshops for IPv6 adoption across Indonesia

Establish a communication channel for participants to share their experiences in deploying IPv6, creating a collaborative and supportive environment that fosters learning.

This project is an IPv6 Deployment Grant.

HoneyV6 ID: implementing the next generation honeypot to support IPv6 at ISPs and IXPs. Swiss German University (SGU), Indonesia Honeynet Project (IHP) and Asosiasi Penyelenggara Jasa Internet Indonesia (APJII). Indonesia. USD 85,000.

Cyber-attacks are on the rise in Indonesia, with more organizations becoming targets of ransomware and malware. This proposal aims to investigate the effectiveness of implementing honeypots in Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to improve infrastructure security and mitigate attacks.

The proposal aims to:

  • Deploy honeypots in multiple IXP and ISP locations to gather and analyze data on threat attacks and to study their attack behaviour differences in both IPv4 and IPv6 networks.
  • Undertake research, data collection analysis and threat correlation.
  • Develop a system to support sending data from various IXPs and ISPs locations to a repository, analyzing threat patterns and categorizing threat patterns and visualizing threats in a dashboard.
  • Publicize our research results

This project is an IPv6 Deployment grant.

Scaling up myspeed.site: Tools for measuring the status of Internet connectivity. University of Technology Sarawak Malaysia. USD 85,000.

Determining connectivity speeds is challenging due to “gaps” between the projected figures and the actual situation on the ground. In 2022, a proof-of-concept online platform was developed to measure network performance based on crowdsourced data instead of data reported by telecommunications companies. The platform also features netStethoscope a low cost innovation, which allows stakeholders to monitor the status of the network at a specific location and times.

This proposal aims to develop regional sites for myspeed.site and deploy netStethoscope in multiple sites across Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, India, and Australia.

The proposal aims to:

  • Collect, analyse and report data on Internet access and performance from the users’ perspective, by using GIS mapping features and network diagnostic tools.
  • Develop and deploy netStethoscope sensor devices to monitor and report the status of remote Internet access points in selected remote communities.
  • Design a training module and conduct training for developing netStethoscope and myspeed.site.

redEsperansa.tl. FUNDAÇÃO MARIA DE NAZARÉ (FMN). Timor Leste. USD 85,000.

redEsperansa.tl  (which means “network of hope” for Timor-Lesteaims to tackle the digital divide by supporting access to the Internet for everyone.

This grant proposal aims to improve connectivity to the “last mile“ through Next Generation Access (NGA) networks. It will also share content and services between academic institutions and civil society and promote the use of Tetum.

The proposal aims to:

  • Provide outdoor wifi hotspots to facilitate engagement with locals at Naroman Esperansa Campus
  • Complete links (fibre or radio) at critical locations
  • Complete “Kalohan Akadémiku” servers (content services for schools & universities)
  • Build a “redEsperansa.tl” website providing information of the project and serve as a platform for community building
  • Deploy IoT applications for real use cases such as weather stations, energy infrastructure
  • Provide outdoor wifi hotspots in remote locations
  • Translate open source software and other content to Tetum
  • Leverage all those actions towards capacity building and promoting community networks

Community LTE in the Federated States of Micronesia. iSolutions Micronesia Ltd. Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). USD 30,000.

The tyranny of distance significantly impacts all aspects of life on remote Micronesian islands. Of the 47 Micronesian islands identified for this proposal, 37 have no public mobile connectivity, and the remaining 10 have incidental 3G coverage. The 37 without 3G are dependent on High Frequency (HF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) radio sets for most communications needs, with a single HF radio set often providing long range communications for the entire community.

This grant proposal aims to bring affordable in-home broadband connectivity to extremely remote communities that lack connectivity. Its secondary objective is to leverage that connectivity to help support meteorology and transportation in FSM.

The proposal aims to:

  • Undertake site identification and design.
  • Deploy equipment and an installation team to Install, test and commission.
  • Provide technical support and training for local contact for support and troubleshooting.
  • Publish a report on adoption and use of the equipment.


Connecting 100 Educational Institutions and Healthcare Facilities. Kacific Broadband Satellites Ltd. Singapore. USD 150,000.

This grant proposal seeks to make an impact by deploying high speed satellite broadband at 100 strategic locations in the Pacific.

These locations comprise hospitals and schools with the focus on improving healthcare and education services in rural and underserved areas where telecom operators have not connected with cable, 3G/4G or fibre networks. Each of the 100 sites will serve around 300 users, connecting approximately 30,000 people who need it the most.

The project aims to:

  • Undertake site surveys of 100 locations, primarily schools and hospitals.
  • Provide satellite equipment to 100 schools and hospitals, including transport, installation, and activation.
  • Establish a Community WiFi system for distribution of WiFi data vouchers.
  • Deliver technical training on maintenance and operations for the system to ensure that end-users can effectively use and sustain this infrastructure.

Project School Internet. Responsible Internet Sustainability Effort, Inc (RISE). Philippines. USD 150,000.

Only 26% of schools in the Philippines were connected to the Internet in 2020. This represents a hugely underserved community. Internet access for school-aged children is important for a number of reasons – digital skills will likely be necessary in future career paths and important for the economy. 

This proposal aims to provide a working model for providing affordable Internet to schools by catalysing the network infrastructure and providing reduced cost services. Specifically, it will operate at scale to provide high speed broadband Internet to 50 schools in the Philippines in a context specific and cost effective way. 

The project will: 

  • Provide broadband internet to students of 50 schools for a minimum of 18 months 
  • Provide schools with access to support and fault response 
  • Engage, select, onboard and train each school. 
  • Provide the technical engineering work: site surveys, the onsite installation and fiber network installation 

Assessing financial inclusivity of peer-to-peer solar microgrids across Rohingya refugee camps. ME SOLshare International Pte. Ltd. Bangladesh. USD 85,000.

Bangladesh is currently hosting one of the largest refugee camps in the world. The Rohingya Refugee Camps has a population of 1.2 million displaced people. Lack of access to electricity, let alone connectivity remains a major challenge.

This project aims to provide renewable energy access in off-grid camps through a decentralized system that enables households to generate and exchange solar electricity with each other and achieve more financial inclusion.  

It aims to:

  • Provide electricity via p2p solar microgrids to 50 more households in the Rohingya refugee camps, comprising another 300 beneficiaries
  • Survey households to understand energy requirements.
  • Design and implement grids based on household energy requirements
  • Provide physical monitoring through onsite staff for support and maintenance of the grids 
  • Provide remote monitoring through our dashboard to assess energy usage patterns
  • Follow-up with socio-economic surveys to gauge impact of interventions and productive use appliances

Increase access of women entrepreneurs with disabilities in digital platforms for their economic empowerment. Access Bangladesh Foundation. Bangladesh. USD 30,000.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on online businesses in Bangladesh. As a result of lockdowns and social distancing measures, many traditional businesses were forced to close, leading to an increased demand for online services and e-commerce platforms.

This proposal aims to address the challenges women entrepreneurs with disabilities face in accessing digital platforms to run their business initiatives.

The project aims to:

  • Conduct an expert assessment of three e-commerce platforms.
  • Share recommendations through a consultations with relevant agencies and e-commerce platforms
  • Conduct a study to identify barriers of women entrepreneurs with disabilities in accessing the e-commerce platforms, and provide professional support to improve accessibility
  • Conduct a 2-day capacity building training with 100 women entrepreneurs with disabilities.
  • Strengthen the existing women entrepreneurs with disabilities forum
  • Provide regular mentorship support to connect women entrepreneurs with disabilities across e-commerce platforms

Development and Implementation of an accessible web-based system for recording and assessment of person with disabilities in local government (DPARS). Disability Empowerment Society Nepal (Apangata Sashaktikaran Samaj Nepal). Nepal. USD 30,000.

In Nepal, it is exceedingly difficult for people with disabilities to get assessed and registered by the government, and during this time they are deprived of government services and facilities.

This proposal aims to assist developing an accessible web-based application for registration and assessment of people with disabilities, to receive a disability identity card.

The project will also help boost adoption of accessibility standards and inclusion for people with disabilities.

The project aims to:

  • Conduct a technical requirements study, existing system analysis and collection of information regarding disability plans and policies promulgated by local governments.
  • Design and develop the web-based application system with centralized database software that is user-friendly.
  • Undertake system testing involving related stakeholders and set up the server management.
  • Train government officials and persons with disabilities for adoption and to improve their user experiences.
  • Expand the project through more of Nepal afterwards.

Improving health service delivery through Internet connectivity. Davao Medical School Inc (DMSF). Philippines. USD 30,000.

Consultations conducted with health workers in local government districts (barangays) around Davao have revealed weak and unstable Internet access. This leads to problems with online health consultations and referrals, and makes it challenging for health workers to operate the iClinicSys system for submitting health records, as well as the E-Konsulta public app. The power outages also cause problems for Wifi Vendo machines.

This proposal aims to target healthcare sites and improve their Internet signals by installing satellite/tower Internet connections that are connected to PESO WIFI Vendo machines. These more reliable vending machines have been used by DMSF in a previous project funded by ISIF and they will also be income-generating for local healthcare providers to ensure the sustainability of their operations. The project will also train members of the Association of Barangay health workers in the operations and financial sustainability of the machines.

The Prayuters Library: bringing Internet connectivity and digital skills to rural populations. Open Development Cambodia. Cambodia. USD 30,000.

In 2022, the Prayuters Library building was purchased and renovated to provide digital inclusion to the rural populations around Preah Vihear. Following the acquisition of books and resources, the project is seeking to improve Internet connectivity in the region of Prey Lang Forest in the provinces of Kratie, Preah Vihear, Steung Treng, and Kampong Thom. The overall goal is to improve digital inclusion in rural Cambodia.

This proposal aims to set up WIFI hotspots in the community centres of these four provinces as well as in the library, which will be fast, secure and accessible to all citizens at no cost. The Prayuters Library will serve as a meeting point for students to learn after their schooling hours and will also serve as a venue for workshops on digital privacy and security.


Capacity building of network engineers. Bodhi Media & Communications Institute. Bhutan. USD 85,000.

Bhutan’s Internet sector requires additional support in terms of online security and digital capacity overall. However, there are significant gaps in knowledge about the scope of the problem.

This proposal aims to help understand the online security issues, gaps, and threats related to the Internet as well as understand the current job responsibilities and capacity needs of network engineers in government, civil society and the private sector, through research.

The project also intends to provide International Certification on Digital Literacy (ICDL) training and certification on Cyber Security to the ICT professionals from the government, CSOs, and the private sector who are responsible for network engineering and cyber security in their respective organizations.

Implementing an experience-driven Low Latency, Low Loss, and Scalable throughput (L4S) Internet service architecture using FreeBSD. Deakin University. Australia. USD 85,000.

Multipath Transmission Control Protocol (MPTCP) and Active Queue Management (AQM) have been implemented and evaluated in FreeBSD. This research project builds a foundation towards evaluating and implementing the Low Latency, Low Loss, and Scalable throughput (L4S) Internet Service Architecture (as specified in RFC 9330) using FreeBSD.

This proposal aims to:

  • Implement and evaluate the Low Latency, Low Loss, and Scalable Throughput (L4S) Internet Service Architecture, in accordance to RFC 9330 using FreeBSD.
  • Develop an in-house experimental test suite and platform for evaluating L4S under various experimental settings.
  • Design, propose, and test new experience-driven L4S-compatible scalable congestion control algorithms and AQM schemes.
  • Provide insights and recommendations for network operators to deploy L4S (upgrading from standard FIFO bottlenecks) in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Build a project-specific test lab at the host University, and provide technical training and mentoring for the new generation of Internet researchers (students at the host University).

Raising cybersecurity awareness: Developing a Cyber Range for education and simulation. Department of Informatics, Faculty of Intelligent Electrical and Informatics Technology, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember. Indonesia. USD 85,000.

According to the Cyber Security Incident Report published by the Indonesian government, about 250 million cyber-attacks were reported in the year 2021. These numbers constitute a 25% increase from the previous year. The most common cyber-attacks are botnets, trojan horses, RDP-related attacks, and denial of services.  However, practical training that emulates real-life cases is hard to implement.

This proposal aims to develop a “cyber range” which would provide a safe and controlled environment for individuals and organizations to develop their cybersecurity skills.

The project aims to:

  • Redeploy an existing cloud platform to a new and more powerful hardware
  • Setup and configure the cyber range platform onto the new private cloud platform.
  • Develop cases to be used for the training material, brainstorming ideas and conducting surveys to see the best methods for introducing cyber security.
  • Introduce security training programs on the cyber range to a wider Indonesian audience. 

Realtime detection and visualization of BGP anomalies using machine learning. Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington. New Zealand. USD 85,000.

The number of Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) anomalies, such as hijacking, is growing due to limited detection capabilities. BGP hijacking maliciously reroutes Internet traffic, causing Denial of Service (DoS) to major Internet Service Providers (ISP) or redirection attacks to Internet users. Ensuring that the Internet functions with minimal disruptions is critical.

This proposal aims to use innovative approaches in network modelling and machine learning to detect and pre-empt any impending anomalous events. The project is led by Victoria University of Wellington (VUW, New Zealand) collaborating with Inner Mongolia University (IMU, China) and Prince of Songkla University (PSU, Thailand). The project aims to build on the foundational research by VUW to develop a realtime system that enables network administrators to detect and visualize impending anomalous events before they occur, thus allowing them to take prompt remedial actions.

An extension of the ongoing project ‘Developing a collaborative BGP routing analyzing and diagnosing platform’. Tsinghua University. China. USD 85,000.

This proposal is an extension of the ongoing project ‘Developing a collaborative BGP routing analyzing and diagnosing platform’. 17 National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in the Asia Pacific region participated in the ongoing project, which has established a distributed Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing monitoring platform and a Cyberspace Governance Technology Forum (CGTF) Looking Glass platform. 15 NREN partners set up sessions with the BGPWatch platform and 7 NREN partners set up connections with CGTF Looking Glass platform.

The project will:

  • Develop an integrated Looking Glass platform, which can leverage many Looking Glasses and return data to users.
  • Use Looking Glass to further check routing hijacking at the data plan, and to improve detection accuracy.
  • Develop path hijacking detection and routing leak detection. 
  • Continue to maintain and fix bugs in the BGPWatch platform.
  • Continue community development and engagement, and international collaboration.

DASH: AI and IoT powered data-driven wildfire detection and prediction system. Sweet Lime E-Commerce Private Limited. India. USD 30,000.

Climate change has amplified the frequency and severity of wildfires, wreaking havoc on ecosystems and societies. In India, approximately 36% of forest cover is prone to wildfires. The existing wildfire prediction and detection systems and overall management mechanisms are not holistic, effective or cost efficient.  

This proposal aims to implement an AI/ML and IoT-powered data-driven unified system to detect, predict and mitigate wildfires. It also provides information to emergency responders and communities. The system helps in monitoring and understanding wildfire behaviour, enabling more effective fire suppression efforts. The initial phase aims to implement a pilot project in the Nallamala Forest in Telangana, India. The pilot will enable implementation of the system on the ground, train AI/ML for real-life data, and produce dashboards for alerting, interpreting, reporting, learning, preventing and mitigating wildfires. 

This project is an Ian Peter Grant for Internet and the Environment.

Sustainable development of ICT in Chin State. Techno Valley. Myanmar. USD 30,000.

Chin State is a sparsely populated state in western Myanmar. Its 500,000 people live in one of the least developed areas of the economy, with a poverty rate of 73%. The mountainous terrain in this area and lack of infrastructure hamper service-delivery. Since early 2021, there has been significant new conflicts, resulting in the displacement of many people. The lack of natural resources and transport links mean there is very little industrial or Information Communication Technology (ICT) development. 

This proposal aims to:

  • Create an ICT development plan for Chin State
  • Skill 36 future trainers from nine townships of Chin State.
  • Provide Training of Trainers in basic computer skills, web design, programming, hardware, networking, operating systems and graphic design (9 townships x 4 computer courses).
  • Produce a research paper on findings and data analyses

Forest fire monitoring and prevention using an UAV-based IOT system – The FIREfly project. UGLASGOW SINGAPORE PTE LTD. Singapore. USD 30,000.

The increase in Extreme Wildfire Events (EWEs) worldwide has led to significant damage to native ecosystems, damaged communities and increased greenhouse gas emissions. The FIREfly project is a pilot study taking place in vulnerable communities in the Northern Thailand region, aimed at developing a real-time alert system for forest fire monitoring and prevention using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and ground-based Internet of Things (IoT) sensors.

This proposal aims to design a low-cost UAV-IoT system that will gather relevant fire data such as smoke, temperature and humidity and relay it back to a central monitoring station whereby an alert will be issued to the fire wardens through an integrated online dashboard and alert system. The project aims to broaden access to Internet services for IoT sensors in remote areas by using UAVs as communication hubs. 

This project is an Ian Peter Grant for Internet and the Environment.