INTERNET penetration in the country rose sharply in 2014 because of the roll-out of the Digicel network, plus the introduction of smartphones, according to a research.
The research was commissioned by the National Research Institute and carried out by Deloitte to find out why internet rates were so high in the country.
Deloitte Access Economics manager Todd McInnis said from 2000 to 2010, internet penetration was about 1.5 to 2 per cent.
But it sky-rocketed up to 10 per cent in 2014.
McInnis said internet penetration in the country had improved considerably in recent years and remained well below what other countries were experiencing.
This he said provided a barrier to the ongoing digital progress in the economic development of the country. He said there was an increase in mobile phones and smartphones in recent years, meaning more use of the internet.
McInnis said the biggest barrier was the high internet rate.
“The international telecommunication union has estimated price of an average broadband package in Papua New Guinea is more than two and a half times the average income of the Papua New Guinean citizen,” McInnis said.
He said problems contributing to the high internet rates in the country were not going to be fixed overnight.
The institute’s senior deputy director David Ayres said it was not going to be an easy task because there was a very competitive environment for internet in Papua New Guinea.
But he said the first step was to continue talks among stakeholders to find a solution.
According to annual global internet report, there were about 6187,591 users in PNG use the internet in 2012 and 625,874 internet users for last year.