IPBC today welcomes the completion of the optical fibre telecommunications “Missing Link” between Madang and Lae.
This is a very important piece of infrastructure as it ties together the PIPE international submarine telecommunications cable
that comes ashore at Madang to Telikom’s national system at the Madang and Lae exchanges.
Filling the gap between Lae and Madang has been a Government priority because of the dramatic improvements it brings to
national telecommunications services.
Primarily it will allow the expansion of high-speed internet, data and voice services to private and corporate customers
across the nation.
Secondly, it will also allow Telikom to go ahead with overdue repairs to the APNG international submarine
telecommunications cable, which has been operating at 50 percent capacity for some time.
Thirdly, and most importantly for the future, the optical fibre link will form part of the National Transmission Network, which
IPBC recently began work on.
So the optical fibre cable will play a critical role in the telecommunications revolution that Papua New Guinea is undergoing.
IPBC is pleased to have been able to play a central role in getting the project going, and completed in less than 12 months.
IPBC paid K5 million of the K5.5 million required for the project, a relatively small investment yet one that will have a big
impact on the future of Papua New Guinea.
Without IPBC’s support for this project the nation’s telecommunications system would continue to limp along.
What Telikom, PNG Power and their contractors have built is a state of the art piece of infrastructure that will maintain the
telecommunications revolution that the nation is undergoing.
It uses an optical fibre cable that was built by PNG Power as part of the Ramu hydro scheme’s power transmission network.
The project involved installing various pieces of power and telecommunications equipment and constructing support facilities
along the route.
The most pleasing aspect of the project has been the speed with which it has been completed. The IPBC board approved
the funding allocation to Telikom in September last year, so it has taken less than 12 months from approval to completion.
IPBC takes its responsibility to help Public Enterprises such as Telikom and PNG Power deliver services to the people very
seriously by investing in key infrastructure.
IPBC and Public Enterprises need to focus on one critical fact – we are all owned by the people of Papua New Guinea, and
we have a mandate to provide them with affordable and efficient services.
IPBC and Public Enterprises now have a strong framework on which to provide those services – annual business plans and
budgets approved by the IPBC board and National Executive Council.
The annual business plans entrench within IPBC and Public Enterprises a continuous improvement cycle that focuses on
financial efficiency and commercial discipline, good governance and due process, and reaching acceptable levels of
IPBC believes that this telecommunications project is a good example of what can be achieved if reforms to the way state-owned enterprises do business are carried through, and looks forward to the completion of other projects of national significance.
IPBC has several other nationally significant projects in the pipeline, much bigger than this Lae-Madang telecommunications
Work began two months ago on the K780-million expansion of Lae’s port capacity, with completion expected in 2015.
Planning work has also begun on the relocation of the Port Moresby wharves, which is K1 billion-plus project.
Substantial repairs and maintenance to the Yonki power station are expected to be finished this year, and the expansion of
output through a new mini-hydro power station at the foot of the Yonki dam is expected next year. A final feasibility study is
under way for a proposed K2 billion expansion of the entire Ramu hydro scheme.
IPBC has also received approval from National Executive Council to go ahead with feasibility and planning studies for a
number of new power schemes, including the Purari River scheme.
Finally, we are at an advanced planning and feasibility stage for a significant upgrade of the Port Moresby sewerage system.
All of these schemes are of great national significance, as well as being important to cities such as Port Moresby and Lae.
They have the capacity to transform national, regional and local economies, providing the stimulus for economic growth,
wealth generation and a broad improvement in the quality of life of all Papua New Guineans
I hope that turning on this small but highly significant project marks the start of a new era in national development and
service delivery to the people.
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