Bougainville Islands News

Communications Concerns for Bougainville

The lack of awareness on the Bougainville Referendum is a concern for the Regional Bougainville MP, Joe Lera, who says only half the population have a full understanding of the upcoming referendum.

His concern comes at a critical time where preparations and planning of the referendum is a priority for the people of Bougainville.

Lera raised this in parliament last Thursday (July 26), asking Communications Minister, Sam Basil, if his department had any plans on improving the state of communications towers in the island region.

Following the Bougainville crisis, most of this communication towers have been left to deteriorate.

In responding, Communications Minister, Sam Basil, said his department was looking into several options of restoring communication – among them, the option of restoring the shortwave frequency .

However, given that shortwave frequencies have been phased out over time, the Department is also considering upgrading FM transmission capabilities on Bougainville, which may be an expensive exercise.

A team from the Communications Department is expected to travel to Bougainville in the next two weeks.

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