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Internet to create jobs in PNG

Internet penetration, the use of personal computers (PC) and other electronic gadgets to access cyberspace is key to the 21st Century’s Information, Communications Technology digital era.
The borderless and speedier access to information helps to drive global progress in education, science and technology.
Therefore, the global PC sales is keenly monitored. And, desk top computer sales are down in the first months of this year – but sales have been heading south for seven consecutive years since 2012
This can only mean two things:

  • That the global buying power has weakened significantly; or,
  • That consumers are opting for smart phones and other electronic gadgets to access information.Whatever, nothing can put the brakes on the internet’s influence in the advancement and growth of global science and technology.And internet access is expected to be more affordable in Papua New Guinea when the Coral Sea cable is completed by end of this year.Deloitte Australia’s Peter Williams told a Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry business breakfast on March 28 that Papua New Guineans should be prepared for the digital era.“The whole idea of this cable is to drastically reduce data cost,” he said.“I think we will get there in between the wholesalers and the retailers, and the government.“The World Bank estimates that by 2040, PNG could increase its economy by US$5 billion (K16.9 billion) and create 300,000 jobs.”And the first stage of the Kumul domestic cable – a fibre optic link from Port Moresby to Madang, via Alotau, Popondetta and Lae – was completed on Feb 19.The project, developed by PNG DataCo and Chinese firm Huawei has resulted in a boost in transmission speeds compared to previous traffic carried on microwave e-radio systems.The new cable is to connect with two other fibre-optic networks, one linking Jayapura in Indonesia to Arawa via seven coastal cities, and the other linking Daru to Kerema.All three stages of the project are expected to be fully operational by the end of the year, according to PNG DataCo.AFP Relaxnews reported on April 15 that globally just over 58.4 million PCs worldwide were sold in the first quarter of 2019 which, according to the International Data Corporation, shows that PC sales are down by 3 per cent around the world when compared to the same period last year.For the quarter as a whole, the American brand HP was the top seller with 13.5 million PCs sold worldwide (-0.8 per cent in one year), with particularly strong growth seen in Japan.In second place is the Chinese brand Lenovo with 13.4 million units sold (+ 1.8 per cent), and finally third place goes to Dell which, even in a slumping market, posted the best progress of the quarter (10.3 million shipments, + 1.9 per cent).These brands were followed by Apple which, despite upgrading certain models, posted a slight decline in sales (4 million, -0.5 per cent), and Acer (3.5 million shipments, -13.3 per cent).Meanwhile, Williams earlier said the wholesale data price of internet in Papua New Guinea is expected to be reduced by 80 per cent once the Coral Sea cable is complete by the end of the year.He says the current wholesale price is K650 per megabit per second, which is expected to be reduced to as low as K100 per megabit per second post-2019 with the new cable.The current retail estimate was K250 for five gigabytes (GB), which was expected to reduce to K50.Williams said while the K100 for one megabit per second was a lot better, it was still high by international standards.“I think it is worth remembering that throughout the history of the internet, we have seen exponential improvements in speed and capacity together with significant reductions in price,” he said.“The cost of laying the cable is A$136.6 million (K326 million).Williams said PNG must be prepared for this digital era.“In my view there are two very big changes,” he said.“Firstly, internet services will be reliable. Reliability will mean that it is possible for businesses to use the cloud to access low-cost but world-class computing infrastructure and software.Reliability issues have meant that PNG businesses could not migrate their technology to the cloud due to the risk of outages or slow speeds.”He said the other big opportunity was a fall in data prices, which would encourage people to use the internet more often and for more things.“To prepare for the change, Papua New Guinea needs to ensure people across the public and private sector are digitally-literate and understand how to use the internet for more than just Facebook,” Williams said.“For example, in education there are literally millions of books, videos, and research studies that will be easily accessible.“Teachers need to explore what material is available and relevant to their students.“They may even incorporate the use of apps into teaching.“For example, they could use Google Earth and Google Maps to bring their geography lessons to life.”
The National/ PNGeHow

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