Eastern corridor fibre-optic project takes off soon

A crucial national fibre-optic project to provide sufficient broadband capacities is being initiated to enhance the work of the various municipal, metropolitan and district assemblies.

The sod-cutting ceremony for the commencement of work on the multi-million dollar project will be performed by the Minister of Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, on Friday, September 28, 2012.

The cables will be laid from Ho in the Volta Region to Bawku in the Upper East Region under what has been tagged as the Eastern Corridor Fibre-Optic project.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Chairman of the Council of State, Professor Kofi Awoonor, President John Dramani Mahama said, “Under the e-government platform project, several IT applications are being introduced for e-government, health, commerce, education and agriculture, among many others.”

The occasion was the opening of the 3rd Africa Regional Preparatory Meeting for World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Accra Tuesday,

The meeting, which is being attended by telecoms regulators, ministers of communications and telecoms experts across the African continent, is aimed at reaching a common consensus for presentation at the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications in December 2012 (WCTI-12) in Dubai.

The ITU will be meeting to revise the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR) which were promulgated as far back as 1988.

Africa has already held two preparatory meetings in Cairo, Egypt, and Durban, South Africa, and the Accra meeting is expected to finalise the position of Africa.

President Mahama said with the seven terabytes capacity provided by the four sub-marine fibre-optic cables serving Ghana, through MainOne Cable, West Africa Submarine Cable System (WACS), Glo-1 and SAT-3, the coming years would see a quantum leap in the usage of the Internet in Ghana and the development of the ICT industry.

He said it was clear, therefore, that “to bring the benefits of the technology revolution to our citizens and improve the quality of their lives, much will depend on the shape and form the ITRs will bring upon our nation’s development.”

President Mahama expressed the hope that all stakeholders would approach the exercise in good faith to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

For his part, the Minister of Communications, Mr Idrrisu, said: “The moment has come for the review of the ITRs which will be a treaty agreement dealing with norms and will indeed, be different in law,”adding that the move was a huge responsibility being undertaken by the ITU.

“The critical test of the WCIT 2012, therefore, will be how contended our countries will be after the adoption of a new set of regulations to guide the development of ICT in the coming years,” he added.

The Secretary-General of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), Mr Abdoulkarim Soumaila, expressed optimism that the final preparatory meeting for the WCTI would meet the objectives to make ITRs more relevant and valuable to all African countries with a clear idea of the way forward and conclude on the African common position and any other coordination.

The Director, Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau of the ITU, Mr Malcom Johnson, for his part, expressed delight that there had been a significant increase in participation in the ITU-T, especially from Africa.

Source: Daily Graphic

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