National ICT Policy 2008
Increasing access to telecommunications services is, a central national interest objective of the National ICT Policy 2008. The phased introduction of open competition initially in the mobile sector and subsequently across all sectors represents a substantial structural change to the sector in Papua New Guinea.
These reforms are expected to provide a framework for improving access to telecommunications services across the country. This will be accompanied by a review of the current universal service mechanisms aimed at ensuring that effective instruments are in place for securing service availability on a truly national basis.
Access to ICT facilities is rarely equitably provided in rural regions anywhere in the world. In developed nations such as Australia and New Zealand, rural services often suffer from connectivity issues and/or a lack of effective competition causing a pricing imbalance. A similar, but far more stark, situation exists in PNG.
Rural citizens are disadvantaged for a number of reasons. Connectivity is difficult because of geographical remoteness and because it is economically unviable to supply services in remote areas. This causes follow on effects, such as educational difficulties and a lack of basic information in relation to health, employment and market information.