State backs shortwave to reach rural areas


THE GOVERNMENT plans to improve communication and the dissemination of information to the provinces using the shortwave radio network, says Communication, Information Technology and Energy Minister Sam Basil.
“Shortwave is the way to go in PNG and we must not be moved by people who want us to support them put up FM stations,” he said.
“We must not waste our time investing in FM stations because most of us come from districts that require shortwave network.”
Basil was replying in Parliament yesterday to concerns raised by South Bougainville MP Timothy Masiu on the ineffectiveness of the radio network in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Basil said the three radio stations operating out of Bougainville were the NBC FM Band, New Dawn Radio and Ples Lain Radio.
The New Dawn Radio service is a commercial station operating from funding provided by the Bougainville government and development partners from New Zealand.
Basil said the Ples Lain Radio had a broadcasting licence issued to an individual who had left the Boungainville administration.
He said there was a row now over who should own the licence.
He has directed National Information Communication Technology Authority to revoke the licence.
Basil will talk to Boungainville on who should be issued the licence and will visit Bougainville soon to facilitate this issue.
“We are concerned about the referendum process where we have to disseminate information into the rural and rugged terrains and we can only do that by using the shortwave network, not through FM,” he said.