Lower Internet prices not passed on – Ain

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The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC), in response to growing concerns from the print media, said that substantial price reductions for broadband internet services at the wholesale level are not being passed on to consumers.

ICCC commissioner and chief executive Paulus Ain says DataCo has made substantial wholesale internet price reductions since 2018, which the ICCC says has not translated into price reductions. at the retail level during this period.

He said the ICCC had written to the National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) as the government agency responsible for the regulation and licensing of information and communications technology (ICT ) to PNG.

“ICCC recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NICTA in September 2021, to work collaboratively on issues as they arise of particular consumer concern in PNG.

“The ICCC will continue to work with NICTA and ask the ICT industry for answers on why Internet retail prices remain largely the same despite steep wholesale price reductions since 2018.”

He calls on affected ISPs and retail broadband internet service providers in PNG to be good corporate citizens and not engage in such practices, where substantial savings through deep wholesale price reductions are kept by these companies in order to maximize their profits.

“The telecommunications sector in PNG has seen a gradual shift in the industry with a number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) participating in the retail of the industry,” Ain said.

“The increased competitive pressure in the market with consumers, government offices / service providers and business houses in different parts of the country, whether in remote areas and urban centers, now have a better Internet access than about 20 years ago to a variety of services offered by these respective ISPs.

He said competition in the retail segment has allowed consumers to choose which service providers to use based on the type of services required for their needs and personal choice.

“The government, through DataCo, has made substantial investments since 2014 to ensure that prices for broadband internet services are reduced in PNG so that consumers and businesses in PNG can benefit from these price reductions” , did he declare.

“Such corporate behavior to prevent consumers from reaping the benefits of lower Internet prices while retaining these significant cost savings and maximizing profits is beneath them and may compel the government to consider regulatory action. more stringent in the ICT sector.

“This is to ensure that these price reductions at wholesale level are passed on to consumers at retail level and as end users of ICT services.”

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