The National, Monday October 14th, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
NATIONAL Planning Minister Charles Abel stressed the importance of telecommunications for development last week as Digicel’s collaboration programme countrywide was announced.
The programme will help the rural areas to be connected.
Digicel government relations advisor Festus Maiginap, who signed a memorandum of understanding last Thursday in Lae with Morobe Governor Kelly Naru, said the company’s relationship with the government could get the country connected to telecommunication services so people could access communicationssthrough mobile phones, internet, radio and television services.
“We have a government programme where we collaborate with members of parliament because we do not know the basis of their area and so our approach now is to go down to the provincial level and see areas where we can come in,” Maiginap said.
“Telecommunication is one of the tools in terms of development, without awareness.
“Without information most of our people would not know what has been happening so we want to raise that gap,” he said.
“It’s more or less a 50-50 approach but we are going to give back the 50% of the provincial government or MPs commitment – either it be ICT connections to schools in the amount of how much the MP has committed or either it connection of towers for radio and television.”
Despite being faced with the harsh geographical challenges in Papua New Guinea, Maiginap said the aim was to cover the country.