The Ghana Internet Service Providers’ Association (GISPA) has welcomed an announcement by the government to work with the Telecommunications Companies and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to roll-out fiber cables across the country, on the back of the latter's distribution network so that every citizen will have access to high-speed broadband internet.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, during the presentation of the 2020 mid-year budget to Parliament.
Mr Ofori-Atta alluded to the fact that the future of Ghana is about digitization, for which reason internet is becoming an essential commodity just as water and electricity. He said this explains government’s resolve to speed up efforts for each citizen to access internet.
The Ghana Internet Service Providers’ Association, in a statement said, “One of the key mandates for us at GISPA is to drive the widespread adoption of internet access and services throughout the country. We have, over the years, done so as individual businesses with efforts from some governmental agencies like the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC). It is our understanding that the latest announcement will step up all these efforts in ensuring that Ghana, just like many other countries in the world, will benefit from the connected world”.
The President of GISPA, Richard Densu, said it is important that all the key players in the industry are consulted so that the rollout of this policy achieves the desired impact of boosting the country’s broadband access.
According to Mr Densu, one of the most important cost determinants of broadband connectivity across the world is the associated cost of trenching.
He said the use of the utility poles will not only reduce the cost of laying fibre but will also go a long way to speed up the rollout of internet services across the country.
"It is, therefore our greatest hope that the modalities for the implementation of this initiative will be spelt out as soon as possible. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Ghana invest hugely in laying fiber, both as business development strategy and as commitment to expanding internet connectivity to all parts of the country. In spite of this huge investment, many of our members have had cause to severally complain about numerous fiber cuts which disrupts our ability to offer the best of services to our valued customers.
“We wish to take this opportunity to reiterate our call on individuals and contractors across board to be mindful of the fact that Section 77 and 78 of the Electronic Communications Act 2008 (Act 775) makes fiber cut a criminal offense. It is in our collective interest that such an important national asset is protected at all times.” the statement said.