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PNG Nicta boss wants to drive internet prices down

THE O3B satellite infrastructure and the submarine fibre optic cable being provided with the help of Australia will help improve internet services in Papua New Guinea, an official says.
The chief executive of the National Information and Communications Technology Authority (Nicta), Charles Punaha, said Australia was funding the Coral Sea Cable “to increase our capacity by up to 20 per cent. So the expectations for the cable is that with so much capacity, we have to reduce costs, make it affordable for Papua New Guineans to have access to and use these services”.
He said the main challenge for Nicta as the regulator was to make sure that the cost come down “so that the people can start using the capacity to create an uptake for people to use the ICT services”.
“The O3B satellite is to provide much better connectivity, especially during the Apec Leaders’ Summit,” he said.
“Nicta’s role is to make sure that the facilities are provided at minimal cost to the wholesalers, and that can translate into the reduction in the cost of ICT services to the general public. The two facilities will provide substantial increase in capacity.
“The challenge for Nicta, and we have been consulting with DataCo and KPH, is to make sure that we have open access, meaning that it must be available to all the operators in the country, at a competitive price. There must not be any discrimination. So in this way we will make sure that the anticipated benefits that we expect from the facility will be realised.”

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