The National, Friday 24th August 2012
THE issue of high internet charges in Papua New Guinea is a national embarrassment and Communications and Information Minister Jimmy Miringtoro is calling for a concerted effort to bring communication costs down to an affordable level.
While addressing the National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) board in Port Moresby yesterday, he said a level playing field for all information and communication technology (ICT) services was needed to promote strong competition among providers leading to a lowering of costs.
“The everyday issues of high internet charges are still too embarrassing compared to other countries,” Miringtoro said.
“We all should work together to find ways to reduce the cost for the benefit of everyone.
“International roaming and high interconnection charges for example need to be critically looked at and appropriate decisions and policies made to bring costs down.”
He told officials of Nicta that as the “regulator of the ICT industry, it is desirable that it ensures a level playing field so that there is competition amongst ICT services”.
Miringtoro said he wanted Nicta to be pro-active and build skills and capacity to be competitive in order to take on challenges posed by technological changes.
Nicta needed to work even more closely with the department, ministry and the government especially in developing appropriate policies to give ICT the prominence it deserved.
He commended Nicta for its performance after replacing Papua New Guinea Radio communications and Telecommunications Technical Authority (Pangtel) in October, 2010.
“It is encouraging to see that in its short existence, PNG’s ‘one stop regulator shop’ has become a model regulator in our Pacific region.
“I’m told that other Pacific Island nations often look up to Nicta on various issues.”
Nicta is working with internet service providers such as Daltron, Datec, Global Technologies, Hitron, Data Nets, Telikom PNG and Digicel to identify issues, explore solutions such as infrastructure sharing, and bring about the possible establishment of internet exchange points in the country to allow direct access to internet services.