By Nancy Sullivan, Our ‘Man’ in Papua New Guinea
There’s a Melanesian Spring blooming in Papua New Guinea, even if Spring doesn’t really exist in this country of rainy and yet more rainy seasons. The Internet came late to us, and even then, only the arrival of the Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien and his mobile phone empire—Digicel—could kick off our telecoms revolution. In the last five years or so, Digicel has completely transformed the social media landscape in Papua New Guinea. Now with wireless hotspots, smart phones and new phone masts popping up all over, remote villagers who have never left their plot of ground can call their cousins in town, contact their members of Parliament, search for the market prices of coffee, scroll through the daily paper, and receive group emails about Occupy Wall Street.