National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO, Charles Punaha said the internet penetration rate is very low compared to other countries in the region, and the world.
He said comparing Fiji, which has close to 100 per cent internet penetration, the biggest nation in the Pacific only has 10 per cent of its population accessing internet, but are paying much more for the service.
Punaha said the high cost of doing business in the country and also the geography landscape dictates the cost of accessing the services.
“We must be mindful that the cost of rolling out infrastructure network in PNG is very expensive.
“We also have very isolated communities, for connectivity purposes also contribute to the high cost of rolling out ICT services in PNG.
“And also compounded by the fact that the power grid ends at the fringes of the main towns, so you have operators basically putting up their own generators, providing fuel and solar power, this is very expensive compared to Fiji with small lower islands and the population is evenly distributed,” Punaha said.
He said competition in the ICT market is the way forward to slice the cost of accessing internet.
Meanwhile, in a study carried out by Network Strategies of New Zealand on internet access affordability published on its website in 2016, stated that Papua New Guinea tops the list of 12 Pacific countries with the most expensive internet service, followed by Solomon Islands. Source: LooPPNG