Government will need an estimated GH₵219m to transition the country from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), a report of parliament’s Committee on Communications has revealed.
Parliament has meanwhile approved GH₵176m for the Ministry of Communications for the implementation of its programmes and activities in the year ending December 31, 2018.
The report further states that in line with the Ministry’s objective of building a digital terrestrial television platform to ensure that Ghana migrates from analogue to digital television, the ministry will in 2018 monitor digital transmission services nationwide before switching off analogue television in the second quarter of that year.
Presenting the report for Parliament’s approval of the ministry’s budget, Ken Ohene Agyapong explained that: “Set-Top-Boxes will be acquired to facilitate the migration. The ministry will intensify sensitisation and public awareness campaigns on the transition from analogue to digital TV and undertake the operationisation of the DTT company”.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) urged governments of 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, has missed the deadline several times.
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 completion of the DTT network within 12 months.
According to the report, in order for the ministry to realise the objectives set for 2018 it will require an amount of GH₵327,977,872.
However, the sum of GH₵176,435,511 has been allocated, which it reckons is not adequate for execution of the planned projects. This leaves the ministry with a funding gap of GH₵151,542,361.
Among initiatives the ministry intends to undertake with NITA is included commercialising 50% of the public infrastructure to generate revenue for this purpose – the construction of an ICT Park to accelerate research and development and entrepreneurship among the youth. In pursuance of this, the ministry has entered into a framework agreement with the Republic of Mauritius, and an estimated amount of GH₵70m will be required for the project.
Furthermore, the ministry will undertake construction of 20 e-CICs in unserved and underserved communities to address the challenges of low connectivity, interconnection, high cost of access and availability of ICTs.
The ministry, through Ghana Post, will continue implementing the National Digital Addressing System by developing postal codes to feed into the National ID system and make Ghana Post the preferred government agency for address verification.