The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) in partnership with Dizengoff Ghana Limited, has installed a VSAT Satellite Hub with the purpose of providing universal access to telecommunications services for remote communities.
The construction of the Satellite Hub would reduce the recurrent cost of providing Internet service to more than 300 Community Information Centres, Senior High Schools, and Rural Telephony sites in the long run.
The Satellite Hub has the capacity of 2000 Internet points and runs on self-financing sustainability model.
The cost of the project is GH₵37 million, which covers operation and maintenance cost for two years and the provision of 100 Internet sites and 25 RTPs.
Under the first phase of the project, 80 Internet sites and 11 RTPs have been covered.
Mr Felix Ofosu Kwakye, a Deputy Minister of Communications, who inaugurated the Satellite Hub at the Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence in Accra, commended GIFEC in its efforts to provide Internet for areas that were underserved.
He said the importance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) on the nation’s economic growth was significant as it impacted prominently on the various facets of the economy.
He said Government, in the last few years, had been putting in place a number of critical ICT projects, including the National Data Centre, which was the largest Data Centre in West Africa and the Accra Digital Centre, which had space to generate 12,000 jobs and to enable the Business Processing Outsourcing sector to develop in a more rapid manner.
“Currently there are plans to establish a Fibre Optic Cable on the Western corridor to serve the nascent oil and gas sector because a lot of Internet band rate is required for the operations of some of the involved in that sector,” he said.
“We are offering very competitive race to ensure that we also support especially start- ups that have entered into that sector to grow.”
Mr Kwabena Owusu Akyeampong, the Administrator of GIFEC, said GIFEC through its Universal Access to Electronic Communications implemented various programmes in order to achieve its mandate.
Mr Akyeampong said among these was the establishment of 51 Rural Telephony Sites and the provision of Internet point of presence to 311 projects sites.
He said the Satellite Hub would, among other things, provide the same satellite communication services, delivering a terrestrial-grade experience with voice, video and data that could be extended to all the unserved communities.
GIFEC was created under the Ghana ICT Policy for Accelerated Development as an implementing agency of the Ministry of Communications, to facilitate the provision of ICT, Internet connectivity and infrastructure to underserved and un-served areas.
The Electronic Communications Act 775 promulgated in 2008 gave legal backing to the Agency, changed the agency’s name to the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), and widened the scope of its mandate.