Broadband For PNGIMR – An Example For Other PNG Institutions.

Information technology (IT) and the Internet has made the world a much smaller world. Medical research and the publication of the results all depend on an efficient IT and Internet support service.

The Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) has just set up its own VSAT which will allow it to enjoy an efficient Internet connection and a much improved download time. The download time is now 512Kbps while the upload time is 526Kbps. This is particularly important for PNGIMR which has established itself through its many publications as a world class medical research institute. Many former medical scientists at PNGIMR now hold important positions in Australia and the USA.

Broadband for institutions of higher learning institutions in PNG must be a priority. Subscriptions to printed journals is very expensive. Nowadays, there a many journals published that are available free on-line. My experience with UPNG has been that the journals are limited in nature and the library books and journals at UPNG need to be updated regularly. A common reason cited for the lack of improvement in these services has been funding. However, if the Internet services can be improved or if UPNG (or other universities in PNG) have their own broadband like PNGIMR, I think it will be cheaper in the long run.

Research and publication are part and partial of any university. In this day and age, the research output and publication record of a university can be improved by a well established IT service and broadband Internet connection. Right now I am helping a friend back in PNG download journal articles and I am sending them to him by attached emails. He is trying the Internet cafes but he said they are slow and the rates are expensive.

It is clear and many have commented that institutions, organisations and individuals in PNG must have access to cheap and fast Internet services. The world wide web is full of information and by limiting the access to Internet many in PNG are deprived of vital information that they can use to make informed decisions. We need a well informed public. And the Internet can make this possible.

My high school (Tokarara High School, 1989-92) motto was “Knowledge is Power”. I never really understood it until much later. And I want to add that `information is power` too. Those who have access to information or have information have power over those who need that information but do not have the means to access it.

I think depriving the PNG public of cheap Internet services is a form of slavery which must stop. Information sets the mind free. Only when our mind is free, we will be really free.


About rodney itaki

Medical doctor and public health specialist from Papua New Guinea.
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