StarTimes deal to solve ‘rural-urban’ digital gap – Ursula Owusu

Business News of Wednesday, 26 September 2018



Ursula Owusu  StarTimes  play videoUrsula Owusu-Ekuful, Communications Minister

Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu, has launched the distribution of the controversial StarTimes satellite equipment and decoders to some selected deprived communities in the country.

The initiative is in collaboration with StarTimes Group, a Chinese media firm which was awarded a deal by the Ministry of Communication to finish the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Network Platform started K-NET, a local firm.

According to the Minister, government is striving to narrow the digital divide between some urban and rural areas by providing these modern facilities to communities across the country.

Ursula Owusu, in her address, explained that the project will help accelerate development by bringing the world closer to rural communities through increasing awareness and knowledge of happenings around the world.

“It is important that we work to make sure that no one is left behind. That is why I mentioned in my presentation that through GIFEC we are also working to connect as many communities as possible to high-speed voice and data connectivity,” she added.

On the creation of jobs she stated that over 600 young people from all the beneficiary communities will receive training which will enable them to provide services through maintenance and post installation of the equipment in homes as well as other operators who set up shops in the community.

Speaking at the event held at Akweibu Junior High School in Accra, where some distributions were made, Ursula urged the beneficiary communities to “protect and own” the equipment for elasticity.

“The community themselves should act to protect them because it is for their use and if they don’t do that then all these investments would have been wasted.”

Chief Operating Officer of StarTimes Ghana Limited, Felix Ahonzo, said the beneficiary communities will have the unique opportunity to enjoy exciting, entertaining, informative and educative programmes from StarTimes’ offer.

Giving a breakdown of the distribution processes, Felix Ahonzo, indicated that communities across the country will receive 6000 decoders, 600 projector TVs, 900 solar lights and 300 television sets for free.

“Each community will receive 20 decoders with dishes and accessories installed in selected individual homes. Two projector TVs and a star times TV with backup solar light installed at public viewing and recreational center. A total of 20 channels predominantly African content to cover news, entertainment, Music, movie including our own Ghanaians Adipa channel will be available new to beneficiaries,” he averred.

Number of designated communities for the distribution in various regions, Mr Ahonzo disclosed, consists of 57 communities in Ashanti, 43 for Eastern, Greater Accra 37, Central 35, and Brong Ahafo 31.

Others are Northern 30, 24 communities in Western, Volta will also have 18 communities benefiting from the initiative while, Upper East and Upper west will include 17 and 8 communities respectively.

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