Somare outlines progress on fibre optic network

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A DETAILED plan for operation of a national fibre optic broadband internet network is being finalised for cabinet approval by the end of next month, Public Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare said yesterday.
Somare said significant progress had been made on plans to integrate the proposed fibre optic cable for
the LNG project with infrastructure managed and operated by state-owned enterprises.
“The government expects to create a telecommunications super highway with key hubs in Southern Highlands, Port Moresby, Lae, Madang and the highlands,” Somare said.
He said work to upgrade broadband internet services, and make them more affordable and public-friendly, “is anticipated well before this country makes its first LNG shipment in 2014”.
“With the impetus created by the PNG LNG project, the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) has undertaken a number of studies on the best ways in which PNG can capitalise on a fibre optic data highway,” he said.
“This will tie in with government plans for a modern high speed communications network that will generate improved productivity gains and provide for better public service delivery mechanisms.”
He said the NEC gave the ministry of public enterprises the go-ahead to buy a 41.67% stake in the LNG fibre optic cable through IPBC last year.
“This made the national government the largest equity partner in this venture, with an additional 8.33% held by the Southern Highlands provincial government.
“Even before completion of the LNG cable, we intend to optimise fibre optic cable and microwave connections managed by PNG Power and Telikom PNG to create a telecommunications corridor that will generate greater competition and improved public access to broadband services,” Somare said.