Papua New Guinea is pushing ahead with plans for a national broadband network that will improve internet speeds and prices, marking a "transformative leap" for the country.
Internet costs are extremely high in PNG, where it is estimated that users pay up to 200 times as much as their Australian counterparts.
Telecommunications was one of several topics on the agenda of this week's summit specifically focused on investment in PNG.
Large amounts of money are currently being poured into PNG to upgrade its telecommunications infrastructure, including development of what will effectively be a national broadband network using an integrated optical fibre network.
"The goal is to make PNG a country which has the kind of broadband speeds which we expect in Australia," summit organiser Andrew Wilkins told Pacific Beat.
The National Transmission Network will cost more than $US200 million and will be controlled by the newly established PNG DataCo.
It will act as the wholesaler supplying broadband to existing telecommunications companies as well as new entrants to the market, providing increased competition that should see prices lowered as speeds are increased.
“At this stage, they reckon it may not be until 2016 or 2017 when it's finally finished but once that's ready, basically all of Papua New Guinea's users of mobile phones and broadband internet will have access to those speeds,” he said.
The head of the country's largest telco, Digicel PNG, John Mangos, told the summit his company estimates there are now 1.5 million Papua New Guineans with phones that have the potential to connect to the internet.
Wilkins believes that those figures, combined with the promise of fast internet, mean PNG is on the cusp of big change.
“This represents a transformative leap for Papua New Guinea”.
Consultant Sundar Ramamurthy, from Invoc Pty Ltd, has previously predicted consumers will see the benefits of lower prices and better access by mid-2014.