Government to renew all TV licences during digital migration period

Category: ICT, Lead 19

The Minister for Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrissu has hinted that government will soon renew all Television (TV) licences in the country during the digital migration period which is expected to be completed in December 2014.

This means that all operating television stations like GTV, TV3, Metro TV and others such as TV Africa, Net 2 TV, Viasat 1 that have been licenced to operate in analogue must renew their licence before they will be allowed to migrate to the digital switchover.

Mr Haruna Iddrissu said even those granted digital TV licences would have them renewed during the migration period.

“For the 2011 period, we are going to embark on a public education to raise awareness and create consciousness in the Ghanaian public to undertake this important national exercise and to renew and grant digital television licences”, said Mr Iddrissu in a interview with Joy FM monitored by ghanabusinessnews.com on February 1, 2011.

“My understanding is that subject to the payment of appropriate fees all existing television networks will automatically have their licences renewed provided they demonstrate to the national regulator appropriate infrastructure and update technology that will drive the process”, the Minister added.

He was optimistic that these television operators “certainly will do so because it is in their interest to go digital” which will improve their sound and picture quality.

Mr Iddrissu said that he is looking forward to the situation where Ghanaians can have access to the internet via television.

He indicated that in some few years to come there will be no need to rely on a “bamboo stick” in order to enable you access television as experienced in some areas in the Central and Western regions as well as other parts of the Volta region of the country.

He said the country needs to build a solid infrastructural base which will begin this year with the construction of some regional transmitters and also to critically look at the transmission network of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation to see how other networks can leverage on that existing infrastructure to improve upon broadcasting in general.

He therefore urged financial institutions to assist the TV stations in the switchover to beat the deadline because it involves lots of  investment and the industry is profitable.

Deliberating on the e-Governance project, the Minister said the project was in two levels; “We have the World Bank $40million e-Governance project and e-Ghana project which is been executed by Wire-way Technologies of China to increase transparency and efficiency.”

By Ekow Quandzie

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