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18.05.2004 General News

VRA Installs Fibre Optic Cable

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The Volta River Authority (VRA) has installed a 600-kilometre stretch of fibre optic cable on high voltage transmission lines along its transmission grid, to help accelerate Information Communication Technology and stimulate Information Technology investments in Ghana.

Besides, discussions are currently ongoing between Ghana Telecom (GT) and the Voltacom Committee of the Volta River Authority (VRA), to expand the existing capacity to cater for GT backbone networks and those of other operators. The Minister of Communications, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, who made this known at this year's World Telecom Day celebrations in Kumasi yesterday, said that the network covered 15 major cities and towns in southern Ghana, including Accra, Takoradi and Kumasi.

He said points of presence (POP) had been located in Tema, Akuse, Akosombo, Tafo, Nkawkaw, Konongo, Kumasi, Achimota, Winneba, Cape Coast, Takoradi and Tarkwa.Mr Kan- Dapaah said that TV transmission stations such as GTV and TV3 would also benefit from such a backbone facility to help enhance transmission nationwide.

Mr Kan-Dapaah said the government was currently engaged in continuous policy discussions with the National Communications Authority (NCA), to create a harmonious environment that would maximise the interest of stakeholders in Ghana's communication industry.

The Communication Minister emphasised that his ministry would strive to ensure that policies and regulatory framework were well defined to support the active participation of the private sector in the ICT sector development process.

He said the policy reviews at the ministry were to ensure that clear regulatory framework was defined to guide the formulation of clear regulatory guidelines by the National Communications Authority (NCA), to restore confidence in investment in the ICT sector.

Mr Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in a speech read on his behalf by Major (retd) John Tandoh, Ag. Director General of NCA, said reliable and appreciable communications could be used effectively as part of the orthodox toolbox for addressing global problems.

He said ICT alone might not feed the hungry, eradicate poverty or reduce child mortality, but it was an important catalyst that would spur economic growth and social equity.

He said ICTs allowed for more efficient agricultural production, diversity and distribution, offering the possibility of delivering basic health services to those in dire need, those living in areas with little or no access to healthcare facilities.

He said access to information technology could boost the creation of small companies and groupings of artisans in poorest and most isolated areas of the world and help them join the mainstream of national and even global markets.

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