The National Information & Communication Technology Authority announced that by December 2016 internet prices should come down by 90 %. This should happen after the setup of the local IXP service that NICTA will host.
So you ask, what is an IXP and how will it bring down internet prices? IXP stands for internet exchange point. It’s a physical structure that internet service providers use to exchange internet traffic between their networks.
Right now, Papua New Guinea does not have an IXP located in the country. How does that have to do with high prices? Well, as we do not have an IXP located in the country, internet providers have to direct traffic to an IXP located overseas and this costs a lot of money to do. Take for example when you send an email to a friend, the information travels within seconds to whichever country the IXP is located and then to your friends inbox. Now, with the new information that an IXP is being created in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, internet traffic will be exchanged in country, hence a cost reduction for the service providers.
But having an IXP in country is not the only solution to our internet problems. It’s just part of the solution. NICTA’s CEO, Charles Punaha, said that there are a lot of factors that contribute to high internet prices, installing an IXP in country helps to address part of the issue and it’s a big step towards the right direction.
“Internet prices should continue to go down as we develop new ideas and strategies to address the issue,” stated Punaha.
But, we must remember, bringing internet prices down is not only NICTAs job. In fact, all the other stakeholders involved must work together.