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14.01.2010 Technology

Committee On Digital Broadcasting Inaugurated

By Daily Graphic
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A 24-Member technical committee to assist the implementation of Ghana’s migration from analogue to digital broadcasting has been inaugurated.

The committee has Mr Bernard Forson Jnr, Director General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), and Mr Joshua Perprah, Director of Regulatory Administration at the NCA, as co-chairpersons.

Inaugurating the committee in Accra, Communications Minister, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said the government was committed to ensuring that digital broadcasting commenced in Ghana as early as 2012.

In that connection, he said, the ministry was to pursue a policy-driven transition that focused on free-to-air terrestrial broadcasting services and set the date for an analogue switch-off to be approved by the Cabinet.

Mr Iddrisu indicated that the ministry’s approach to the subject of digital migration was to pursue the analogue switch-off process in phases, starting with all regional capitals and the establishment of a national co-ordinating committee for digital broadcasting and aligning the whole engagement with the government’s e-government agenda.

He said the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), at its plenipotentiary conference of 2006, established a cut-off date of June 2015 for all countries to commence the implementation of digital broadcasting and cease transmission on analogue frequencies.

The minister said the ITU was willing to assist broadcasters in their efforts to migrate from analogue to digital, improve their understanding of new technologies and enhance their staff skills in digital production and broadcasting technologies.

He said there was definitely cost associated with digital terrestrial broadcasting, such as the acquisition of new equipment (for transmitting and receiving) and also the installation of new antennas, adding that currently over 100 countries in Europe and the Middle East had taken important steps towards the introduction of digital broadcasting.

Mr Iddrisu said the exercise had the potential to create a virtual one-stop multimedia system and reclaim bandwidth that could be used to serve the public with more and better services.

He expressed the hope that the technical committee would consult widely with all stakeholders and also benchmark with work done by other countries within the Africa region to be able to present a credible and practical policy recommendation for the realisation of the objective of digital broadcasting migration in Ghana.

For his part, the Board Chairman of the NCA, Mr Kofi Totobi Quakyi, said digital migration presented an enormous challenge to all countries, saying, however, that with the right preparation and the attitude, Ghana could do better than others.

He said the transition would enable consumers to experience up to 10 times more channels than what analogue presently provided, hence more content, more diversification of programmes and more access possibility for competitive broadcasters.

He was hopeful that members of the committee would bring to the table their invaluable depth of experience. Share Your Thoughts on this article Name Email Location Comments Graphic Ghana may edit your comments and not all comments will be published

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