Be practical with SIM registration approach: MP

Member for Madang Bryan Kramer says the government and NICTA must be practical in the approach they take in registering SIM cards.

He says 80 percent of the populace who live in the rural areas are burdened with the cost to travel into the city for such exercise, something he will be challenging in court.

With 80,000 subscribers in his electorate who are yet to register their SIM cards, he also says it will be difficult to impose such a responsibility with him.  

“I’m happy to sit down with NICTA and suggest some solutions in relation to SIM registration. But we have to be practical, we are not a developed country,” Kramer says.

“You go to countries like Australia, US, where they have extremely good services, you can impose a SIM registration on them but in PNG, we cannot put medicine in our hospitals and yet we are trying to burden our population for SIM registration.

“Who pays the cost for them to catch K20 bus down to town and another K20 back? Who pays for that cost? Is it the state? We have to consider that in urban settings it’s convenient that people just walk down to register their SIM cards.

“There are 80 percent of Papua New Guineans who live in rural locations, they are burdened with the cost and where they register,” he added.

Kramer made these comments after he obtained a stay order restraining NICTA from deactivating unregistered SIM cards today.

Meantime, following the deadline extension from January 22 to April 30, the PNG Council of Churches entered into a unique partnership with the PNG Government, on 7 February, to assist with the rollout of SIM card registrations into the remotest parts of the country.

(Member for Madang, Bryan Kramer)

Sally Pokiton