Ursula Holds Digital Migration Meeting

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The
Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has met stakeholders on government’s
plans regarding the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration project.

The
purpose of the meeting was to update stakeholders on the current status of the
project and also solicit their inputs.

During
the meeting, she emphasised that no group of stakeholders was more important
than others and the inputs provided by the majority would be considered,
stressing that the government was committed to ensuring the active participation
of all stakeholders in the digital migration process, as their inputs were
necessary for its success.

Key Stakeholders

Stakeholders
present at the meeting included Ministry of Information, National Communications
Authority, National Media Commission, Actors Guild, Broadcasters on the
National DTT Platform, Film Producers Association of Ghana, Ghana Broadcasting
Corporation, Ghana Independent Content Providers Association and the Ghana
Institute of Engineers.

The minister
reported that the switching of the process from analogue to digital terrestrial
technology was in its final stages, and the Digital Switch Over (DSO) was set
to begin by mid-year.

Coverage Measurement

She
also briefed them on the coverage measurement on signal quality of the DTT
network infrastructure which showed current population coverage of almost 90%,
with broadcasting signals.

“… The
42 transmission sites nationwide have been completed and all connected to the
National Electricity Grid,” the minister disclosed.

Mrs.
Owusu-Ekuful added that the Central Digital Transmission Company (CDTC) would
facilitate the smooth interaction between broadcasters and the platform
operator, stressing that the mandate of CDTC would be to manage and operate the
infrastructure which would offer transmission services to broadcasters and not
to control the content provided by broadcasters (i.e. channels) to be
transmitted.

TV Licence

The
participants were also informed that the DTT policy provides for an effective
and efficient collection of TV licence through the use of technology to ensure
revenue generated is used to sustain the public broadcaster, the DTT
infrastructure and facilitate local content development.

The
introduction of DAF, however, will require all citizens to acquire new digital
Set Top Boxes (STBs) which are compatible with the NCA’s recently published
standards, according to the minister.

Debunking Assertion

She
debunked assertions that it was illegal for the NCA to publish the standards
for the National DTT network or that the Ministry of Communications had
doctored standards published by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).

She
explained that while the GSA had published MINIMUM standards applicable in the country
that did not preclude any entity including the NCA from utilising enhanced
standards on their network.

No Misinformation

Mrs.
Owusu-Ekuful called on the public to disregard the misinformation that her
ministry through the NCA acted contrary to the rules. She said the ministry was
working with all stakeholders and would utilise the best technology available
to facilitate the full implementation of the law.

She
urged players in the industry to desist from deliberately misinforming the
public on DTT issues since the project has enormous benefits for the country.

She
said the economy is projected to benefit from the creation of at least 10,000
new jobs when the project is completed.

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