ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain, said ICCC is encouraged by the fact that the Government and the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy, Sam Basil, share the same concerns that consumers in the rural and remote parts of PNG would have been adversely affected because they, for valid reasons, may have not been able to register their SIM cards.
Commissioner Paulus Ain said ICCC understands that registration of SIM cards still require people to personally appear and present identification documents in order to register or purchase a SIM card.
He said the majority of Papua New Guineans live in villages in far and remote places to nearby towns, and a significant number of them do not have basic identification documentation like birth certificates, National Identification cards, passports, drivers licences, school ID cards or other acceptable forms of identification.
These same people, he said, have utilized and benefited from the advancement of telecommunications in their locality through the use of mobile phones.
The Commission also welcomed the Minister’s call for all telecommunication providers to work closely with the PNG Council of Churches to help fast track SIM card registration.
Ain said ICCC supports this call and maintains the view that these operators have a commercial incentive to act, including a moral obligation not to leave anyone behind from the SIM card registration exercise.
Given the new deadline for the registration of SIM cards, the ICCC is urging consumers in rural PNG to contact their mobile service providers to find out how they can register their SIM cards at a location nearest to them.
ICCC will continue to meet with NICTA, the telecommunications service providers, and the Department of Information and Communication to support their efforts where necessary to ensure consumers with mobile phones in rural PNG are provided an opportunity to conveniently have their SIM cards registered.