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Data network Rollout in PNG affected by Funding and Foreign Exchange: DataCo

 FUNDING and availability of foreign currency were the two main challenges that had affected the roll out of the country’s national transmission network (NTN), according to PNG DataCo.

Chief executive officer Paul Komboi said this while providing an update of the rollout of the PNG's national transmission network in an online business briefing yesterday.

He said apart from the impacts of Covid-19 experienced last year, funding to finance infrastructure was a major challenge that the company had faced, especially government-to-government funding.

He said this slowed down the completion of the Kumul Submarine cable network project which comes under the NTN.

Komboi added that the availability of US dollars was another challenge.

He said they were unable to pay their upstream contractors due to the US dollar issue.

“The benefits of the infrastructures that we are rolling out are focused on core serving and core locations,” Komboi said.

“We are building infrastructures that could be shared among various customers, clients and stakeholders and we need some considerations with respect to that.

“Our Government needs to make more commitment in this space to prepare us properly to meet the future of how to govern provision of services for our people.”

Despite those challenges, Komboi said the Coral submarine cable system, one of the projects under the national transmission network had been up and running since 2019 and following that, there was an 80 per cent reduction in the country’s wholesale internet price and a further reduction was expected.

State Enterprise Minister William Duma said earlier this year that the Government would provide financial support to DataCo to deliver communication services in the country.

While providing an update of the data centre which is expected to be opened next month, Komboi said it would reduce major capital expenditures in upgrading infrastructures every now and then including software and other ongoing operational costs.

He said the data centre and cloud service was a hybrid model that would manage applications and software unlike in the past where it managed infrastructures.

The National / PNGeHow

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