AUCKLAND (AFP) - A free wireless Internet service on the Pacific island of Niue, the first in the world, has been shut down just five months after it was launched because it was not properly licenced, it was reported.

The nationwide WiFi service, set up in June by the Niue Internet Users Society, was forced to close because it did not have a radio licence, the Weekly Niue News said on Monday.

The society claims the low-powered system, set up for the more than 1,000 people who live on the single island of Niue north of here, is exempt from licencing requirements under the island's Communications Act.

Niuean students, travellers on visiting yachts and tourists are upset at being denied free access to the Internet and e-mail on the island and have complained to Minister of Telecommunications Toke Talagi, the report said.

However the minister has not relented, saying, "Everyone has to obey the laws of the land."

Source: Yahoo