Ghana won’t meet digital switchover deadline due to lack of money

Dr. Omane Boamah
Dr. Omane Boamah

Ghana’s bid to migrate from analogue to digital terrestrial television set out in June, by the International Telecommunication Union is quashed due to financial constraints to deploy infrastructure, the Communications’ Ministry said on Wednesday.

Failure to meet the migration cut-off date by mid this year is largely due to delay in securing China Exim Bank loan facility expected by government to facilitate installation of the infrastructure for the process to commence.

Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Bomah, said this at a news conference to highlight Ghana’s programme towards the digital migration, following the termination of a contract with the main contractor and supplier of the digital terrestrial equipment, Star Communication Network Technology.

A five-member committee charged to evaluate the rebidding process on the heels of the cancellation of the contract and ensure government engaged in contracts which yielded value for money also submitted it report to the sector minister for scrutiny.

Dr Boamah said government is committed to the migration process and steps are being taken vigorously to complete deployment of infrastructure nationwide by February 2016.

When the project is successfully taken, he said broadcasting sound and picture would be improved while a minimum local content would also be allowed to create opportunity for those in the creative art industry.

He also said apart from the numerous job opportunities that would be created for journalists and technicians, at least $ 230 million could be derived from the spectrum when the migration process is finalised.

However, Dr Boamah cautioned broadcasters of the challenge coming along with the switchover as the public would most likely stick to quality programmes and the new entrants would compete favourably with the existing ones.

Source: GNA

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