Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ghana: Govt is concerning about siting of GSM towers and will enforce site sharing to reduce their effect on the landscape

[the chronicle] The Government is particularity not happy about the recent indiscriminate siting of communication towers by telecommunication service providers in the country, and has thus tasked the regulator - The National Communications Authority (NCA) to go tough by enforcing regulations on co-location.

This was contained in an addresses delivered by the Minister of Communications, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, at the International Telecommunications Union Forum (ITU) and Meeting of study group 12, in Accra yesterday.

The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly is held every four years to take decisions on a wide range of issues that impact the future of the information and communication technology industry.

Ghana recorded about 3000 telecom masts countrywide at the end of the first quarter of this year and the Minister was particularly worried about the environmental and potential health risks associated with the practice.

The Minister indicated that playing host to the forum attest to Ghana's commitment at benchmarking best practices to improve upon its policies, regulations and laws to ensure that all sector players reach acceptable standards to bring out the best for the sector, as well as protect consumers and the general public in the deployment of infrastructure and services.

He said the government of Ghana was committed to the promotion of ICT and to nurture the industry to safely pull the country through the challenges posed by the global financial crises.

The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. John Mahamah on his part stressed that the ability to communicate freely was a pre-requisite for a more equitable, prosperous and peaceful world, and thus entreated the developing world to be concerned with the so called digital divide that has the tendency to push developing countries to the margins of global development.

He said as countries strive to overcome the handicap and challenges of development, it is imperative that they pay greater attention to the development of ICT in all sectors of development.

He recalled that Ghana in the mid-1990's commenced the process to reform the telecommunications sector by introducing liberalization and privatization to secure sufficient investment and technology transfer to expand telephony services throughout the country.

This, he said, continues to inform government policy to make ICT a major driver of Ghana's future development. "In the face of the economic problems, the government is continuing with the provision of broadband infrastructure in all the administrative districts of the country. While this will facilitate the implementation of our e-government programme, it will help reduce the cost of bandwidth and also the cost of doing business in Ghana." he said.

He however decried the increasing rate of cyber crime that is fast seeping through the fabric of the Ghanaian society and thus charged the forum to give more attention to the issue and come out with guidelines for the use of the internet as well as deterring regulations that will commit the internet service providers to share responsibility for protecting the use of the service for criminal activities.

NCA Charged to Go Tough On Co-Location Regulations

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