May 26, 2019

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GIBA concerned by delays in digital migration

GIBA concerned by delays in digital migration President of GIBA, Andrew Danso-Aninkora

The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), has expressed worry over interruptions that have stifled progress in the nation’s quest to migrate from analogue to digital terrestrial television.

Ghana’s digital migration, which was originally slated for completion in July 2015, has been pushed back a number of times.

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the current Minister of Communications, has now postponed the September 2017 deadline to 2018.

But speaking on Citi TV’s major evening news program, Citi Newsroom (CNR) on Tuesday, Andrew Danso-Aninkora President of GIBA called on the Ministry of Communications to come clear on progress made so far and also provide a definitive date for the migration.

“The Ministry should come out to be able to tell us the date. Because you see again that the date has been changed and we are waiting for the new date.  For instance, the analogue is supposed to be switched off. For instance, the one who is going out there to do business should know that the analogue is off. For instance, the one who is talking about getting clients onto his platform should know what percentage of the country we cover, what geographic area do we cover, how many viewers we cover.”

The migration is to ensure that broadcasting services are protected from interference from neighboring countries as well as improved services.

Mr. Danso-Aninkora also demanded answers from the Ministry and other relevant stakeholders to questions over the managers of the migration platform and the costs.

“There are questions, who is managing the platform who are the managers, what are the charges who are managing the whole platform? he quizzed.

Background

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) urged governments in the world to migrate from analogue broadcasting to digital by June 2015.

A number of countries have been able to migrate including some in Africa but Ghana; one of the most technologically advanced countries in Africa missed the deadline several times.

The erstwhile Mahama government promised to attain this feat by September 2017 but the current Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful at a forum in Accra on the digital migration said Ghana is not ready for the move.

She then shifted the deadline for the migration from analog to digital broadcasting to 2018.

According to her, the project implementation process faced some challenges, hence the change in date.

Ghana’s Digital Broadcasting Migration.

Ghana’s Ministry of Communications in October 2015, signed a contract with K-Net Limited for the rolling out of the DTT project which demanded the completion of the DTT network within 12 months, but the project has still not been achieved.

A National Digital Broadcasting Migration Implementation Committee was subsequently established with membership from stakeholders including Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), National Media Commission (NMC), MoFEP, NCA, and MoC to provide technical advice and to ensure the smooth migration process from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting in line with international standards.

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By: Nii  Larte Lartey/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

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