NCA wants mobile phone operators to report complaints to them not media

Mr. Paarock Asuman VanPercy - NCA Director General
Mr. Paarock Asuman VanPercy – NCA Director General

The National Communication Authority (NCA) on Wednesday, urged communication services providers to direct complaints or challenges that they have to the Authority for resolution.

According to the Authority since they granted the authorization and license to the operators, it was only fair that they come back to the Authority with their challenges for redress.

“Sending your complaints to the radio stations or to the newspapers are not the best because that will not solve your problems any way,” Mr Paarock Vanpercy, Director General of NCA, said at a day’s media sensitization workshop in Accra.

The workshop on the theme: “Bridging the Gap between the Regulator and the Media through Education”, was to increase awareness among media practitioners as to the core functions of the Authority and also served as a training platform to enable the media report adequately on the sector.

The NCA was primarily established by the Act of Parliament (Act 524, 1996), which was later repealed in 2008 under Act 769 as the sole regulator of the communication sector with an oversight responsibility to ensure services were made available to every consumer everywhere in Ghana.

Mr Vanpercy said as regulators it became very necessary for them to perform their duties with integrity and transparency, adding that not every sanction taken against the operators was made public.

“At times you are on us to know the sanctions that we take against those operators that are not performing according to the laid down rules and regulations, but we believed that if we sanction them and they go and did not perform, the problem is not solve,” he said.

He said sanctions were to encourage the operators to provide quality service to the people and to also provide the service at where other people needed their services and not necessarily for monetary considerations.

“So mostly, we make sure that the operator goes back and fix the problem by giving quality service to the people affected and to those that need the services outside the capital cities and if that fails before we impose sanctions in the form of fine on them,” he said.

Mr Vanpercy announced that Ghana’s access line had increased from over 5.3 million in 2006 to over 27 million in May 2013 and a data penetration of over 37 per cent.

That, he said, suggested that about 17 million Ghanaians have phones, which he explained could also be that people have multiple phones that made up to the figure.

On Mobile Number Portability, the Director General said, Ghana’s exercise was a success as 800,000 people had successfully ported at a rate between 1 minute and seven minutes while other countries do that in four or more days.

Mobile Number Portability is a system that enables people to move their numbers to other networks without any hitches.

Mr Vanpercy announced that the NCA was working with the service providers to come out with a guide to regulate short codes to avoid unnecessary and unsolicited text messages.

Mr Kwame Baah-Acheamfuor, Principal Director, Regulatory Administration at NCA, taking participants through Quality of Service, said tariff situation in Ghana worked but in cases of problems, complaints should be directed to the providers first and to the NCA if service providers failed to address them.

He said there was the need to monitor the performance of operators quarterly in every region to ensure that they meet both local and international standards.

Source: GNA

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