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Cost of Internet in PNG to be reduced

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Papua New Guinea  National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) is discussing with internet service providers (ISPs) to set up a new facility aimed to help reduce internet charges in the country.
Economics and consumer affairs director Kila Gulo Vui  said once the PNG Internet Exchange Point (IXP) is established there would be improvement in the capacity of domestic links.
He stressed that internet charges in Papua New Guinea continue to be among the highest in the world.
“IXP is basically a switch where it can help internet service providers or Telikom network operators come and connect and exchange traffic,” Vui said. “It (IXP) will improve the quality of services, because of the current structure, email goes out of the country (PNG) to Sydney, Australia or Hong Kong and comes back in and is charged.
“Currently there are arrangements between different ISPs and network operators.
“What we want to see is an IXP established and operated independently of any operators.
“The experience from other countries is that it will make internet more affordable and quality of services improve.
“If we have to develop internet in PNG, then is the IXP is the first step.” The authority yesterday met with ISP and network operators in Port Moresby to encourage them in recognising the facility and how critical it was to all internet ecosystems.
Vui said the country currently has nearly 50 licenced operators and ISPs, smaller ones account for nearly 90 per cent of that 50.
He said the customers would benefit from reduction in the cost for internet services.
Vui added that a good number of ISPs have indicated interests in the IXP and an international partner was willing to assist NICTA establish the facility.
He said NICTA has moved the date forward to have the facility launched in the next two months. The National