NICTA Renews Digicel Operating Licenses

Minister for Information, Communications & Technology (ICT) Timothy Masiu presented the licenses to Digicel PNG CEO, Colin Stone, in Port Moresby today.

The renewed ICT operator licenses are viable for the next 15 years. The two licenses granted to Digicel PNG are the gateway service license and individual network license.

Minister Masiu used the ceremony to promote the Marape-Basil Government’s position based on the ‘Take Back PNG’ intent.

He emphasized that the Take Back slogan is about national content and participation.

NICTA seeks dismissal of SIM deactivation case

Justice David Cannings adjourned the motion, filed by NICTA, Communications Minister Sam Basil and the state, to 7 September.

Lawyers for the three parties filed the motion on July 30 in response to Kramer’s motion that was filed on July 25.

They will be asking the court to dismiss the proceeding.

Justice Cannings adjourned the motion on Tuesday after refusing injunctive orders Kramer sought restraining unregistered SIM cards from being deactivated as of today.

SIM registration extended

Minister for Communication, information and technology and Energy, Sam Basil announced the extension this afternoon.

Meantime Digicel’s Regional CEO for the Pacific, Oliver Coughlan said Digicel now has over 6,000 people in the country registering sim cards, 2,000 of those are based in the rural areas.

Mr Coughlan said Digicel has registered over 1.4 million subscribers and is committed to register more.

Unregistered SIM deactivation imminent

The Waigani National Court allowed the withdrawal of the case after leave was sought by Member for Madang, Bryan Kramer.

Kramer asked for the withdrawal after the court refused to allow the injunctive orders of April 30 to be extended for a further seven days.

He sought an adjournment to obtain a copy of the decision (gazettal of regulation) by NICTA regarding deactivation to file his case.

Be practical with SIM registration approach: MP

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.

Punaha: Churches to help register rural population

National Information and Communications Technology Authority CEO, Charles Punaha verified that priests, pastors and layman can be used as reputable persons to identify and vouch for members of their congregation at points of registration.

“We are also going to simplify the form of registration so that the pastors can sign and get as many of their parishioners registered.

Motion filed to dismiss sim registration challenge

The state filed the motion on Tuesday, seeking the dismissal of the entire legal challenge against telecommunication regulator NICTA.

The matter briefly went before Justice Ere Kariko on Wednesday for directions where the state informed the court of the motion. It will be heard next week Monday.  

The state will be asking the court to dismiss the legal challenge on the main ground, the plaintiff, Baundo Francis, has no reasonable cause of action in the proceeding he filed.

ICT access, a top Govt agenda

Information and Communications Minister, Sam Basil opened the one day workshop in Port Moresby.

The National Government through NICTA has a huge task of making sure telecommunications services reach 100% of the population.

While progress has been made so far with the introduction of competition in the ICT Industry, majority of the population still lack access.

The Universal Services and Access Secretariat under NICTA, was set up to achieve just that.

Sim Registration case filed

A young lawyer who claims to represent the majority of people in the rural areas, filed the case last December, seeking to have the court order the entire registration process to be made flexible.

The case went before court last week but could not be heard because court documents were not served to NICTA, its CEO and the State.

Baundo Francis, informed the court today that service of the documents was done yesterday on NICTA CEO, Charles Punaha.

NICTA was not represented in court today because its lawyer is yet to obtain a 2018 practicing certificate.

SIM card registration extended to January 23

Minister Abel has been in consultation with the Minister responsible for Communications, Information Technology and Energy, Sam Basil who has received advice from NICTA on the registration deadline extension.

“Minister Basil and I have considered the issues surrounding the SIM Card Registration Regulation, and I am fully aware of the implications of registration deadline,” the Acting Prime Minister said.

“The extension to 23 January 2018 will minimise the potential for disruptions to phone users while ensuring network security is enhanced.