Nicta stumped by gap in laws

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By MARK HAIHUIE
Communications and Information Technology Minister Sam Basil, pictured, had admitted that there are regulatory gaps in existing laws to control retail internet data rates, saying steps are being taken to correct that.
“The National Information Communication and Technology Act of 2009 empowers the regulator in PNG, Nicta, to monitor and intervene when it considers that prices for particular ICT services provided by service providers are unreasonable,” said Basil, who is also Minister for Energy.
“However, there are gaps in the Nicta Act, and the services providers at will are able to increase retail prices without providing justification to the regulator and informing the consumer prior to increasing the retail prices.”
He said the Government would address this.
He yesterday told the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (Abac) micro to small medium enterprises (MSME) and Innovation Summit in Port Moresby that there were other undertakings such as the Internet Exchange Point, plans for mobile operators to share infrastructure and building the national cyber security capacity.
He said the initiatives would create a conducive environment for MSME’s to grow through accessible, affordable and reliable internet services.
Nicta chief executive Charles Punaha said they would make changes to benefit the 3.2 million subscribers.
“Our Act does not allow for us to regulate at the retail part of the market,” he said. “We have taken note of the comments that have come when bmobile recently increased the price by about 100 per cent.”

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