By CLARISSA MOI
TANGIBLE retail internet price will be seen once the Kumul submarine cable network (KSCN) project is completed, according to Kumul Telikom Holdings Ltd deputy chairman Reuben Kautu.
He was responding to questions from the media on when the retail internet prices would be reduced following the reduction in wholesale internet price.
Kautu earlier said that in 2014, the price of wholesale internet was around USD1,300 (K4,321.77) per megabits per second (Mbps) per month which came down to about USD380 (K1,263.29) per Mbps per month about 18 months ago and is now around USD98 (K325.80) per Mbps per month.
“This in itself is the wholesale price,” he said.
“The pricing will continue to drop as parts of the national transmission network (NTN) is completed and the usage volumes continue to climb.
“We distribute that to the retailers like Digicel, Telikom and bmobile.
“They deliver them to the internet service providers (ISPs).”
Kautu also noted that there were some smaller ISPs who also needed to make their budget.
“This is where business is involved.
“We are not going to make Telikom and Digicel do this work alone, we must allow a lot of Papua New Guineans to participate in this.”
Kautu said in order for the retail internet prices to be reduced, there was a need to connect Manus, New Ireland, West New Britain, East New Britain, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Gulf and Western.
“It’s like a cycle, all these places have to be connected to be able to work.
“In terms of economic scale, more volume driven, prices will go down.
“As soon as we connect all these provinces and light it up, we will see some traction on the pricing.
“But in terms of pricing going down, we need to be careful.
“We don’t want to kill our business Dataco.
“They need to provide the service and continue to sustain the service.
“There is a guideline around who buys from Dataco,” he said.
“At the moment, ISPs, Telikom and bmobile can buy from Dataco.
“The smaller ISPs then buy from Telikom and bmobile.
“Importantly, this milestone achievement is creating a lot of opportunities and a lot of impact on costs.
“Cost will be reduced so much that the small businesses will grow.
“Once everyone gets connected, the cost will go down and everyone else will be benefitting,” Kautu said.
l See more on page 40