Connectivity To Be Priority

Source: Post-Courier

 

Completion of the National Broadband Network and Terrestrial Network upgrade (submarine cable band-with) are among government’s priorities for the next five years.

 
These commitments are specific to the information, communication, and technology (ICT) industry contained in the Alotau Accord II.

 
This was highlighted by Minister for Information, Communication, and Technology Francis Manake last week, in a meeting he held with the agencies concerned.

 
He challenged these priorities to be crafted into their respective work plans.

 
In laying down his expectations Mr Manake noted the onset of the digital age and the potential impact it already had in going forward, however, he was concerned that the masses particularly those in the rural areas “are still out of touch.”

 
“Many don’t have access to a phone, mobile communication and internet services. Some are not reached by radio and many cannot view television something we can change,” the managers were told.

 
Other commitments which the minister said were industry specific which the government was keen on achieving over the next five years was to encourage e-commerce, e-health, e-education, e-agriculture with a view to embracing the smart government concept.

 
He challenged that they strive in the next five years to make a difference for the better.
“Having access is one thing but if we can make it cheaper and affordable it would be even better and I am committed to seeing that this happens,” he said.
During the meeting, Mr. Manake also highlighted his priorities for the coming month.
Top of the list were a stock take on all assets, APEC 2018 preparations, appointments including Secretary for the Department of Communication and Information, the National Information, Communication, Technology Authority (NICTA) board, 2018 budget submission for the sector.

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