Internet Costs to be reduced by 90%
BY MELISHA YAFOI – Post Courier
INTERNET costs are expected to cut by 90 per cent come December through the establishment of a K200,000 Neutral Internet Exchange Point (IXP) facility, says the national regulator.
Discussions with major internet service providers bmobile-Vodafone, Telikom PNG and Digicel has seen them all agree to support the initiative, even Google has agreed in principle to partner with regulator, the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA), through the Neutral IXP facility pending agreement on certain issues including taxation.
This is a deliberative objective by NICTA to be competitive with global internet providers considering PNG’s cost are among the most expensive in the world.
NICTA chief executive officer Charles Punaha said at a media conference yesterday that NICTA appreciates the report by National Research Institute (NRI) on why internet rates are high, adding that NICTA also understands that information and communication technology was an enabler for economic development.
“We have undertaken consultation to look at the entry level of prices and are currently monitoring that, we are going to monitor this over the next five years with the aim to reduce the cost of internet services.
“Following the recent launch for the establishment of the IXP, we are now almost in the process of launching that project and it is expected to be completed by December this year, as we are still awaiting some things including IP addresses to be fixed and some machines to come in.
“The main players bmobile, Telikom and Digicel have all agreed to come on board with us and that will also contribute towards reducing the cost of internet services,” he said.
Mr Punaha said discussions were ongoing with Goggle who has also agreed to join NICTA through the IXP facility. NICA hopes that they also join soon.
NICTA was assisted by the Internet Society to establish a Neutral IXP in the country on behalf of the ICT industry. “Neutral” meaning communally owned, which is critical to the success of the facility. ISOC is assisting with provision of renowned IXP technical experts and the sourcing of core IXP hardware.
“So these are some of the measures NICTA is doing to help bring down costs by hosting IXPs locally and allow domestic sharing of traffic.