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PNG telecoms minister issues wholesale service declaration

21 Mar 2013

Jimmy Miringtoro, Papua New Guinea’s minister for communications and information technology, has acted on the recommendation put forward by the National information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) earlier this month, which called for the declaration of certain wholesale services relating to access to submarine cable landing station facilities and transmission capacity on international submarine cables. Wholesale Service Declaration No.1 of 2013 will come into force 30 calendar days after it is published in the national gazette, and will last for five years.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, following a six-month public inquiry NICTA concluded that fixed line incumbent Telikom PNG held a monopoly in the market for wholesale capacity on, and access to, international fibre optic submarine cables. Further, the study also found that Telikom’s dominance in the sector was ‘potentially harmful to the development of competition in many other telecommunications markets, including the retail market for broadband services’. In making its recommendation to the minister, NICTA claimed that a declaration of the services in question would make the wholesale access and utilisation of submarine cable transmission capacity more accessible and more affordable. In turn, it said, this should enable those companies to offer faster and more affordable broadband services to their customers. Listing the other expected benefits of the declaration, the regulator said that it should result in: lower prices for outgoing international communications; increased international bandwidth; greater utilisation of existing international capacity and increased investment by Telikom (as a result of increased demand); faster market growth via increased traffic and use; and because of the growth of broadband, potential for greater investment in submarine cable capacity.

Under Papua New Guinea’s National Information and Communications Technology Act 2009, a telecommunications company that supplies a declared service must comply with non-discrimination obligations.

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