ICT access, a top Govt agenda

Stakeholders in the Information Communication and Technology Industry met on Tuesday to discuss NICTA’s Universal Service and Access or UAS Workshop Strategic Plan 2018 to 2022 and a 1 year UAS Operating Plan, 2018.

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.

The UAS secretariat held the one day workshop, with ICT Stakeholders and others, who are responsible for UAS funds to discuss a 5 year UAS Strategic Plan.

Minister Basil says one of the Governments key priorities is to connect all PNG citizens with high standard ICT access.

Meantime, David Townsend, a consultation engaged by NICTA was the main speaker at the workshop.

Townsend explained that the investment made by ICT operators through the UAS levy will go towards counter funding the plans on this strategy.

He says helping the Government improve access to ICT services in mostly rural areas, will also benefit the operators.

With PNG having a small ICT market and with the economic conditions, the concern for some operators is who bears the extra cost and to what extent.

Charmaine Poriambep