Source: The National, Monday, March 25,  2013 
 THREE executives from Cisco Systems, a leading global network communications company, have decried the high cost of internet service in Papua New Guinea as they pitched for more competition in the information technology sector.
They said that a strong competition brought down the cost of the internet service.
“When you have strong competition among IT companies, you bring down the price,” according to Tim Fawcett, Cisco’s general manager for government affairs and policy.
Fawcett was in Port Moresby last week with two other Cisco executives Jonathan Dixon, general manager for media and communications and James Pickering, service provider business manager.
Based in San Jose, California, Cisco is the No 1 network communications company in the world.
Cisco executives brought up the high cost of the local internet service during their dialogue with the representatives from the government, civil society and business.
Among those who attended the dialogue included Minister of Communication and Information Technology Jimmy Miringtoro, National Information Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO Charles Punaha, Telikom CEO Charles Litau, acting secretary for Trade, Commerce, and Industry Gerard Dogimab, and the executive director for Transparency International PNG Emily Taule.
Fawcett said that with more competition, more people would get access to the internet while at same time new investment equities were opened.
“That’s fantastic for communities, fantastic for a country, and more importantly, fantastic for creating jobs.”
The networking technology that Cisco provided transformed how people connect, communicate and collaborate, according to Fawcett.
The Cisco visit was aimed at exploring how it can work more closely with PNG’s government and business community and to provide insights into best practices on national infrastructure projects.  
The United States supports PNG’s efforts to use technology to promote the growth of business and innovation, and to foster inclusive, sustainable, and transparent economic growth, Fawcett said.
He said affordable internet access was an economic driver that had transformed how companies around the world did business.
Through free, on-line courses offered by some of the world’s leading universities, the internet also provides educational opportunities that are not bound by borders and distance.  
During their visit last Thursday, the executives engaged more than 100 computer science students and faculty at Don Bosco Technical Institute.
Their message to students was: “Don’t underestimate the power of innovation.”
Pickering encouraged students to think of ways to “creatively change the market” by getting more involved in technology and innovation.
Dixon said: “You are the creative future of this country, allowing more of you to access online and using your creativity to create new business opportunities is important … we would like to be part of that journey with you.”