20 Feb 2006

President of PNG Chamber of Commerce says aging cable must be replaced

7:17 am on 20 February 2006

The Papua New Guinea Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the government is not putting sufficient money towards the telephone service and makes decisions too slowly.

About a week ago, phone subscribers were without line access for about 17 hours when, it is thought, a fault developed in a connection box linking the undersea cable between PNG and Australia.

The Chamber says the aging cable is well past its use-by date, and should be replaced by an available and unused cable between Sydney and Guam.

But the Chamber's president, Michael Mayberry says, apart from a lack of funds, real action takes too long.

"This is my opinion; that Telekom are making decisions for yesterday's technology so that what's happened is that they'll make a decision, say, in January, but it's not implemented until many months later, and by that time, the rest of the world has moved on."

Michael Mayberry also says the system cannot cope with the increasing volume of email and internet operations.