A REPORT released in Papua New Guinea this week outlined a number of ways to moderate the country’s costly internet services.
The report, ‘Why are internet rates high in Papua New Guinea?’, was commissioned by the respected Papua New Guinea National Research Institute.
The costs of reliable internet services to PNG businesses remain substantial, despite a 70% wholesale price fall since 2013.
The report cites a number of reasons for the high costs, one of which seems to me to be acceptable: the high maintenance and capital expenditure required to build an internet infrastructure.
The other explanations - service unreliability, the ‘off-shoring’ of internet traffic, lack of competition and a regulatory environment that has failed to keep pace with technological change – are less plausible.
The NRI’s report, which has been challenged by senior Telikom executives, recommends greater price transparency and the development of a new strategy.
PNG Attitude contributors have shown interest in this issue, pointing out that affordable internet costs are critical to the achievement of PNG’s development goals and to nation-building.