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During my time in Port Moresby I moved apartments, from a downtown apartment to a new one in the suburb of Boroko.

This move necessitated getting the telephone connected.

As an expatriate there was (in 1990) a tried and tested process for getting your phone connected.

Step 1 – Go into the Telikom PNG office, in the main shopping area of Boroko, and complete the requisite form and pay the nominal fee for a telephone line and one phone. You will then be advised that they will contact you sometime in the next six months to organise the connection.

Step 2 – You thank the nice officer who has served you and leave.

Step 3 – (To be completed within the next 72 hours. No immediate hurry as you need to allow time for your application to be processed – i.e entered into the Telikom PNG computer system). Go to a liquor outlet and acquire a slab of beer. I choose a slab of SP Export beer as opposed to the base level (and if I might add, the rather vile) SP Lager.

Step 4 – Having acquired the beer, drive around until you find a Telikom PNG van.

Step 5 – Tell the technicians that you need your phone connected. They will check that your application is in the system – amazingly they could do this on the road – the wonders of Telikon PNG! Having confirmed this they will most likely accompany you to you house straight away. If not straight away they will be there shortly.

Step 6 – In your apartment/house/etc, position the slab of beer where the technicians can see it.

Step 7 – Tell the technicians where you would like you phone placed.

Step 8 – This is where the quality of your beer offering comes into play. At this point the technicians will tell you how many phones you need. They ascertained that three was appropriate number for me. Given the very modest size of my apartment I insisted that two would be sufficient. They acquiesced and installed and connected two phones.

Step 9 – Beer exchanges hands and the technicians leave. Job complete.

This process could be used, with appropriate customisation, for getting almost anything done in PNG!

Please be assured, Dear Reader, that I do not condone corruption or practice bribery in any form.


This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on a couple of years living and working in Papua New Guinea. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Goroka Market – or to start this loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – Papua New Guinea – Personal Memories.


2 thoughts on “Get a phone connected

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