Ministry Plans to Help Bougainville Government with Better Coverage

By: PNG Business News March 04, 2021

In order to achieve full radio, television and internet coverage, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology plans to help the Autonomous Bougainville Government through improved tower infrastructure and fibre connectivity.

In a statement, ICT Minister Timothy Masiu plans to seek cabinet approval to roll out these programs. He said that his ministry is putting a submission through the NEC proposing how to roll out these programs.

He also added that the National Broadcasting Company is planning the establishment of two towers in Panguna and Wakunai, and installing the two FM transistors and accessories at these sites.

“It will also see the existing shortwave transmission from the Kubu site being relayed through these FM sites carrying the local NBC Bougainville broadcast to more people in Panguna and Wakunai and the surrounding communities,” he said. “We must plan and invest in the rollout of tower infrastructure all around the island to deliver improved and new mobile broadband services and to enable high-speed internet bandwidth access.”

He also added that they are in discussions with a private company to pull an undersea fibre cable from Taro Island. The idea, he said, is to land this in Buin and work it along the east coast.

“The existing undersea cable managed by PNG DataCo landed in Arawa, and this adds to the current challenge to connect the entire Autonomous Region of Bougainville,” he said.“My ministry has an interest in pursuing accessibility and affordability policies so that our people have access to affordable services through better tower infrastructure, connectivity and reliable broadband access. Besides the department also wants to service the atolls and health centres with VHF radios through the universal access scheme administered by NICTA.”

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