Government Must Take Ownership of Internet Costs [Audio and Video Included]
The government must take ownership of internet costs in the country in order for it to be more affordable.
This was stated by Daltron’s ISP Manager, Kametan Subunakau during his presentation “ISP – Making Internet Affordable in PNG” at the 1st quarterly seminar for the Papua New Guinea Computer Society (PNGCS) at the Holiday Inn on Wednesday (March 20).
Mr. Subunakau said the key departments and state owned enterprises need to take ownership of the underlying problem of high internet costs. Relevant bodies need to put their hands up and admit that it is a problem and work toward finding solutions.
He said the local loop or final leg of delivering internet to consumers constituted 60% of the cost. This is because it is expensive to set up infrastructure to deliver internet and ISP companies have to recoup that cost by passing it on to consumers.
He said it normally costs Daltron K50, 000 – K70, 000 per month to collocate with infrastructure owners.
Mr Sibunakau said NICTA, Telikom, ICCC and the Ministry of Information and Communication should provide provisions to make local loop costs negligible and let ISPs “fight it out” in pricing of internet content. He said this was the fastest way to bring costs down.
He further added that an idea would be to for all the operators to get together and build a nationwide broadband or WiMax network, and let them share that infrastructure.
He said the playing field must be levelled in order for all ISPs to take advantage of the local loop and bring costs down. He said at the moment some people don’t play fair.
“When the government start taking ownership of that (local loop) and build it in a way that every telco, every ISP, takes advantages of that. That’s the only way we can reduce the cost.”
He said the important thing is that the playing field must be the same. At the moment, it is not the same which is why prices vary between ISPs.
Taxes on companies bringing internet infrastructure also have to be reduced in order to make it more conducive for ISPs to invest.