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13.07.2004 Business & Finance

Internet Providers to establish Exchange

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Accra, July 13, GNA - The Ghana Internet Service Providers Association (GISPA) would in October establish the "Ghana Internet Exchange" (GIX), to make Internet reliable and affordable.

Mrs Nana Yaa Owusu-Prempeh, President, GISPA, explained that with the GIX in place, local contents would be hosted locally without going through international channels before coming back to the local Internet user.

"This is a major infrastructure development, which would keep local traffic local ensuring that ISPs do not have to pay the high cost (which they transfer to the consumer) for routing such traffic internationally," she said.

Mrs Owusu-Prempeh, who was addressing a press conference on Tuesday, said with increased speed, the GIX would resolve web addresses and allow local posting of websites and also ensure that Internet Service Providers did not pay high costs.

She further announced that negotiations were on course with the Ghana Telecom (GT) to purchase bulk bandwidth on the SAT 3 undersea cable (an Internet transmission circuit) to reduce the cost of buying in bits from the GT.

Mrs Owusu-Prempeh said though the Association welcomed competition, it was worried that the recent numbering programme, dubbed the "15xx-numbering system", which was allocated to ISPs to address congestion of circuit switches, if not properly regulated, would jeopardize fair competition in the industry and stifle productive and long-term growth.

GT recently offered the 15xx-numbering systems to address congestion of circuit switches, to lower user costs and help increase user services and encourage more participation.

Mrs Owusu-Prempeh, therefore, appealed to the National Communications Authority (NCA) to intervene to ensure a fair competitive market for all providers, including the GT, since the numbering system seemed to increase ICT development only in the short term.

"GISPA would like to ensure that the ICT industry is kept fair and allowed to develop properly without any one player taking a considerable advantage."

The Association listed some problems facing it as high taxation, frequent power outages and high cost of licensing fee and yearly renewal fee by the NCA and appealed to the Government to intervene. 12 July 04

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