PNG is working to restructure and modernise its telecommunications infrastructure. Image courtesy of madNESS.

PNG is working to restructure and modernise its telecommunications infrastructure. Image courtesy of madNESS.

PAPUA New Guinea is reported to be on the brink of an information technology revolution.

The forecast came from PNG Public Enterprise Minister Ben Micah and was reported on by the local media in March.

According to Islands Business, Mr Micah said the revolution of data would be through the commercialisation of the first PNG fibre network by the end of the month that would link from Madang into Lae and the Highlands region, including the LNG project area.

The efforts to improve telecommunication networks in the country come in preparation for the 2015 Pacific Games and beyond that the APEC Summit in 2018.

Mr Micah was reported as saying the government had established a new State-owned enterprise, PNG DataCo Limited, to restructure the current state owned telecommunications network and other related assets.

He said the new board members of PNG DataCo, chaired by Kevin Kautu, an accountant by profession, was an important step in the restructure and modernisation of the country’s IT and telecommunication infrastructure.

“The country has a lot of legacy issues that need to be ironed out and rehabilitated and this is no different to the telecommunication network we have,” he was quoted as saying.

“It has now come to a point that more attention, resources and dedication is required in taking the implementation to the next level if there is going to be any impact.”

Mr Micah went on to say that the economy would only get stronger with a better integrated and efficient communication infrastructure.

He reportedly said that key telecommunications infrastructure had been identified and valued and would be vested to DataCo and transferred from Telikom PNG.

“It is critical that DataCo is, and is seen to be, totally separate and independent,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Islands Business reported that all PNG government-owned telecommunications and media companies had been challenged to lift their game.

These companies include the newly established Information Communication and Technology (ICT) company, PNG Dataco Limited, Telikom, B-mobile and National Broadcasting Corporation’s radio and television networks.

The challenge was reportedly raised by Mr Micah during the swearing-in of the inaugural board members of Dataco in Port Moresby recently.

Mr Micah said he wanted to see the level of services provided by these entities lifted to equal, if not better, to those being provided by firms in the private sector.

He said the government was determined to improve service delivery to the masses and also wanted to partner with the private sector.

“I want Dataco, B-mobile and the others to lift their game. Once we are there then we can talk to the private sector,” Mr Micah was quoted as saying.

“The private sector will want to partner with an entity that is robust. No entity will want to carry a business that is sick and coughing.”