Competition in ICT industry to reduce charges

Source: Looppng

Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) introduction into the country’s ICT industry will help to lower the high cost of internet and voice charges.

Gabriel Pimentel, ABS Managing Director for the South East Asia and Asia Pacific made the comments today during the official presentation of individual operator licenses by the National Information and Communication Technology.

“ABS is a global satellite operator; traditionally we have been providing space segment bandwidth,  but we  have gone one step further, by not only being a satellite provider but in fact started to develop services on the ground, enabling a cheaper satellite bandwidth we bring which will be passed to the consumers,”  Pimentel said.

“We are providing much more competition to the existing (and) established (ISP) providers, and competition always resulted in benefit to the consumers, and in reality we have seen in the markets we have played, the more cost effective services results in more people using these facilities.”

Pimentel said providing ICT services to the rural areas are one of the company’s main objectives.

Meanwhile, NICTA chief executive officer Charles Punaha said, “for NICTA’s perspective, we are fortunate to have an international satellite operator coming into the country.

“It is our hope that it will provide for more competition in the market, and this is something we have been looking forward to for a number of years, and off course will result in the reduction of the current very high satellite bandwidth that has been offered in the market.

“It will result in the reduction on the price,” Punaha said.

International satellite operator to operate ICT services

Source: Looppng

A global international satellite operator has been given license to provide ICT services in the country.

National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO, Charles Punaha today presented the individual operating licenses to Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS).

ABS has offices in the United States, UAE, South Africa, Germany, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

According to company’s website, ABS operates a fleet of satellites serving 93 per cent of the world.

ABS offers a complete range of End-to-End solutions including Direct to Home (DTH), Cable TV distribution (CATV), Cellular Backhaul, VSAT and Internet Backbone services with diverse IP transit through its European, Middle East and Asian internet gateways.

Punaha said one of the requirements was for ABS to incorporate a company in PNG to provide Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services, which the company had complied with.

“ABS has been one of our clients for the last 10 year, and we do filing for them, and also they assist us to do coordination.

“Most satellites are in the PNG filings, except one of them.

“And to this respect, ABS is not a newcomer to NICTA but to this occasion they have decided to open up a local office and submitted their application for licenses, which we will official handover to them three licenses approved by our board,” Punaha said.

The three licenses are;

–              Individual Network (facilities and services) license to provide data and internet services over facilities and infrastructures for its customers in PNG;

–              Individual Network Gateway License (Gateway) license to provide international connectivity services for international voice and data connectivity; and

–              Individual Application License to provide internet services (voice and data) in PNG.

Gabriel Pimentel, ABS managing director thanked NICTA for the trust and confidence in the company and said they will kick the ground running with the licenses.

“We believe PNG is sitting on wealth and needs to be developed on better communication, not only in the developed areas but also in rural areas. “

10 percent of Papua New Guineans on Internet

Source: Looppng

Only 10 per cent of Papua New Guineans have excess to internet as it is one of the most expensive in the world.

National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO, Charles Punaha said the internet rate is very low compared to other countries in the region, and the world.

He said comparing Fiji, which has close to 100 per cent internet penetration, the biggest nation in the Pacific only has 10 per cent of its population accessing internet, but are paying much more for the service.

Punaha said the high cost of doing business in the country and also the geography landscape dictates the cost of accessing the services.

“We must be mindful that the cost of rolling out infrastructure network in PNG is very expensive.

“We also have very isolated communities, for connectivity purposes also contribute to the high cost of rolling out ICT services in PNG.

“And also compounded by the fact that the power grid ends at the fringes of the main towns, so you have operators basically putting up their own generators, providing fuel and solar power, this is very expensive compared to Fiji with small lower islands and the population is evenly distributed,” Punaha said.

He said competition in the ICT market is the way forward to slice the cost of accessing internet.

Meanwhile, in a study carried out by Network Strategies of New Zealand on internet access affordability published on its website in 2016, stated that Papua New Guinea tops the list of 12 Pacific countries with the most expensive internet service, followed by Solomon Islands.

Act will not censor social media: NICTA

Source: Looppng

The Cybercrime Act will not be used to gag public complaints in the media.

Charles Punaha, the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO, said the Act, passed by Parliament in 2016, will not be a form of censorship on mainstream and social media.

“We respect freedom of information and speeches as provided for under the Constitution, but let me also specify that those freedom are referred to by law as qualified rights, meaning that people should not abuse those freedom to commit (crimes) against other people,” Punaha said.

“Our code will be developed within the confines of the law, the existing legislation and mindful to facilitate and respect the freedom provided for.”

However, many of Loop PNG readers think the Act is a smokescreen by the government to protect them from public scrutiny, especially on Facebook.

These are some of the comments on our news site.

“It is censorship your highness. You are telling us to watch our mouths when criticising public, elected officials – a norm in any democracy. Isn’t that the same as prohibiting people from watching certain movies, etc?” wrote a reader.

“People or so-called leaders are pushing around to have media under their control. (It) is to protect themselves from their corrupt practises so where does this freedom of speech come in play, shame on you leaders for pushing this agenda around to pass that law,” Arnold Mara commented.

“We need freedom of speech in our country! We all know that the media in PNG is being controlled by the Government, we need social media to expose corruption and the truth on our Parliamentarians and senior public servants’ immoral and unethical behaviours,” another reader commented.

Meanwhile, under the new Act, the three mobile phone operators must register all their users before the end of 2017.

“We remind subscribers that the number of days has been reduced, and we have 12 months left and they must register now,” Punaha said.

He added that they are in constant dialogue with the mobile operators and are confident with the current progress of SIM card registration.

Is Cybercrime Act, a form of censorship?

Source: Looppng

Many Loop PNG readers think the Cybercrime Act is a National Government plot to censor public comments on social media.

The National Parliament in 2016 passed the Act making it a crime to make unproven allegations about individuals using any information technology medium.

However, the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO Charles Punaha brush aside the censorship claims.

Punaha said the new Cybercrime Act is not a form of censorship in Papua New Guinea.

These are some of the comments on our news site.

“It is censorship your highness. You are telling us to watch our mouths when criticizing publicly elected officials – a norm in any democracy. Isn’t that the same as prohibiting people from watching certain movies, etc?” a reader stated.

“People or so called leaders are pushing around to have media under their control is to protect themselves from their corrupt practises so where does this freedom of speech comes in play, shame on you leaders for pushing this agenda around to pass that law,” Arnold Mara commented.

“We need freedom of speech in our country!! We all know that the media in PNG is being controlled by the Government, we need social media to expose corruption and the truth on our Parliamentarians and Senior Public servants’ immoral and unethical behaviours,” another reader commented.

Cyber crime law in Papua New Guinea

NICTA boss

Communication and Information Technology Minister Jimmy Miringtoro has called for support in the fight against cybercrime, from all key government institutions, ICT service providers, business houses and individuals.

Speaking at the Cybercrime Policy launch in Port Moresby, Miringtoro said once the legislation is finalized, the offenders of cybercrime will be prosecuted under this new law.

In addition, he said the regulation on simcard registration will complement the cybercrime legislation once it becomes a law.

“It will therefore be mandatory for operators to register all mobile phone SIM card holders. And I urge every SIM card holder to cooperate with the operators on the SIM card registration exercise for the good of our society.”

Miringtoro told Loop PNG that the SIM card registration will be aligned by the government’s National Identity (NID) program that is being rolled out across the country.

Meanwhile, it was reported in a local media outlet that the government will come down hard on improper users of ICT services and warns that a K20,000 fine or 3 months imprisonment will apply under section 266 of the NICTA Act 2009 with NICTA saying it will charge anyone who “lies” on social media, emails, blogs, forums including Facebook.

Related stories:

http://www.looppng.com/content/cyber-crime-spotlight-today