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Understanding the Regulatory Environment for ICT Infrastructure in Papua New Guinea: The Coral Sea Cable System (CS2) Case Study

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Muhammad Nidhal

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Over the past decade, digital connectivity has emerged as a critical new form of infrastructure, akin to roads, energy or ports—underpinning economic growth and social development. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), the advent of digital connectivity has opened up new avenues for communication, commerce, education, and governance. Indeed, the introduction of the internet in PNG nearly three decades ago (1997), has accelerated the country’s digitization efforts.

However, despite the PNG government’s digital infrastructure strategies, broadband access—both fixed and mobile—remains limited in Papua New Guinea. ITU (the International Telecommunications Union) recorded that only 32% of PNG’s total population used the internet in 2021, in contrast with an Asia Pacific average of 60%

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