Business News of Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications, has called on network operators to put their resources together to lay down fibres to reduce cost and deliver quality services to its customer across the country.
According to the Minister, she has been informed that the amount of fibre buried in the ground when joined will serve the country a useful purpose.
But, the Minister explained that, “because they have laid in the same places and they duplicated the infrastructure in the same places, you have a lot fiber, metro fibre and around the large cities whiles large part of the country are not covered.
“We can’t continue this way. It’s very expensive to lay fibre. let us join our resources instead of everybody laying down fibre to extend services to save Nandom let decide that ok company A will do point A to point B, company B will continue from B to C.”
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, speaking at Broadband Ghana forum in Accra, added that if an infrastructure company will set up not to provide services but lay down infrastructure and also lay down fibre, everybody will lease capacity on it to work in order to reduce expenditure.
She explained “they don’t have to invest so much in building their own fibre network but lease capacity from infrastructure company to extend their services to areas where they want to extend services to, they will be reducing cost expenditure and operational expenditure and so will be reducing cost of delivering those services and can transfer that cost into reduced prices for their services to the consumer.
The Minister believes that if the network companies work together to develop an infrastructure code and facilitate that it well it will be easier for them to extend their services.
She admitted although there will be competition, it will be on competing on quality services they provide and not in access that they can extend their areas of services and give their consumers choices on which network to use in their localities.
“We want to connect the country next two to three years. It is possible if we work with the network operators, broadband wireless operators and internet services providers to see how widely we can do that by sharing cost of laying out the necessary infrastructure and pulling our resources together because at the end of the day if this works, and every part of the country is connected, all of them can extend their services to part over the country instead of small geographical locations that limit them,” she opined.
Mr Gustav Tamakloe, Chief Executive Officer of Broadband Communications Chamber, said that the forum is to initiate a public dialogue on how to review and revise Ghana’s five-year old broadband policy to complement the digital Ghana agenda.
“This is to support the development and expansion of the broadband industry in line with the UN broadband Commission for sustainable development and government of Ghana’s strategy of rapid broadband penetration and development,” he said.
He added in today’s world, broadband is a critical part of any national economic and social development agenda that will drive economic growth, productivity and job creation.
He said “it is absolutely essential for Ghana’s economic future, long-term productivity growth and global economic competitiveness.
With broadband infrastructure, delivery of voice, video and data at ultra-high-speed yields numerous benefits including productivity improvement, better health and education services and efficient government services.”