Research by the National Research Institute (NRI) in partnership with Deloitte has revealed that PNG has very high and expensive internet rates when compared to other countries.
The research identified that despite PNG being a growing ICT country, the growth is stressing existing infrastructure as well as policy and regulatory framework.
This has increased the cost of maintaining this infrastructure, which in return has forced Internet providers to increase the price of Internet services around the country.
The research identified that specific PNG issues like the geography of the country, the labour market and skill shortages in the ICT sector are also contributing factors to why Internet is expensive in PNG.
“In 2013 the fixed broadband price as per GNI per capita in percentage, PNG was at 266 per cent which is more expensive than developed countries like the US, Australia and Singapore that are between 3-5 per cent which is the average. This means PNG’s rate is the most expensive in the world,” said Todd Mclnnis, the research consultant.
NRI is now aiming for an open forum between regulators and Internet providers to seek solutions on the issue.
The research identified both long-term and short-term policies in reducing Internet rates in the country.
A long-term solution is the reform of regulatory bodies and the monitoring of retail prices.
“Regulatory bodies in PNG will have to monitor the retail prices internet providers are putting.
“If Regulatory bodies speak out on this issue, there can be significant changes to internet rates in the country,” said Mclnnis.