Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Asia Pacific Report

VIDEO: Internet access must be seen as essential PNG need, says expert

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The EMTV report on YouTube.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Item: 8383

PORT MORESBY (EMTV / Pacific Media Watch): A Papua New Guinean telecommunications expert says internet access in the country should be treated as an essential intellectual need and pricing regulated by the Independent Consumer and Competitions Commission (ICCC).

In an EMTV interview, the former chief executive of Bemobile, Noel Mobiha, said the government should invest in building information technology infrastructure in schools so that a future market volume was built, and prices would be reduced.

Internet costs in Papua New Guinea have been a big concern for corporate and individual customers.

The price of internet connection alone can drive up operating costs for medium to large businesses.

With competition, speeds have been improved and costs have dropped slightly but the impacts have been minimal for people in centres outside of Port Moresby and Lae, according to EMTV.

'Radical' approach
Mobiha said the government had to adopt radical policies similar to countries in Europe where the internet was treated as a basic necessity.

The telecommunications expert therefore suggested price regulation by price watchdog, the ICCC.

Costs remained relatively high because it was dictated by the starting price of the initial upstream provider.

In the case of Telikom, which is the leading telecommunications company in Papua New Guinea, the upstream comes from Australia.

Noel Mobiha also said the government should look at other options like sourcing wholesale internet providers from Asia, where the customer volumes were high and the costs relatively low.

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Pacific Media Watch

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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