Business News of Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Accra, GNA -- Mike Oquaye, the Minister for Communications, has embarked on a project to extend fibre optic facility to all parts of the country.
This is part of the government's efforts to ensure affordable access to high-speed broadband throughout the country. He said the first phase, which involved the upgrading of existing fibre optic within the southern triangle and extension of same to reach the middle part of the country, was underway and the second phase would extend the facility to the northern sector.
This was contained in a speech read for him at the inauguration of an Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre at Agogo in the Asante-Akim North District last Saturday.
The 250,000-dollar project emanated from sister city relations between Agogo and Forte Lauderdale in the United States of America with support from Citrix Systems Incorporated.
Mr Jim Naugle, Mayor of Forte Lauderdale, inaugurated the facility that is to link Agogo to the rest of the world via satellite.
Prof Oquaye said the extension of the fibre optic facility to the northern part of the country would include the development of e-government connecting pots to facilitate easy connectivity service to be provided by the private sector to extend access to institutions, schools and homes.
The Minister noted that in order to reduce cost of bandwidth and also aid optimum usage of connectivity facility via satellite, the fibre connectivity path located in the district would be linked to the Agogo ICT centre.
"This will increase speed and bandwidth availability so that many more towns within the environs of Agogo can be hooked on to the Internet to facilitate IT learning, development of e-health applications, as well as application of e-government tools to benefit the citizenry."
Prof Oquaye said his Ministry was pursuing a rural telephony project to support and complement the fibre project to ensure easy access to connectivity by towns and villages.
Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, the Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, lauded the relationship between Agogo and Forte Lauderdale.
Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, said the effects of the continuity development in information technology on education had brought tremendous learning opportunities to today's child.
Nana Akuoku Sarpong, Omanhene of Agogo Traditional Area, could not hide his joy about the facility and said it would offer opportunity for Agogo and its environs to be part of the global village. He said the facility would further enhance government's efforts to promote ICT in schools and urged the youth of Agogo to take advantage of the centre to upgrade themselves. He commended the Mayor of Forte Lauderdale and Citrix Systems Incorporated for making the project a reality.