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General News of Thursday, 26 November 2020


Election 2020: Release 5MHz spectrum to telcos – Omane Boamah to NCA

Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Former Communications Minister Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Former Communications Minister

Former Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah has called on the National Communications Authority(NCA) to release the 5MHz spectrum to the Telecommunications companies who need it to boost their bandwidth redundancy to ensure free flow of communication before, during and after the December 07 elections.

He believes this can greatly curb congestion on the internet during the election period.

In an open letter to Kwaku Sakyi Addo (NCA Board Chairman) and Joe Anokye (DG, NCA), Dr. Omane Boamah said: “One of the reasons this congestion can happen is because many Ghanaians will be using data to check results and also touch base with friends and family.”

He added: “We have an election at hand and to ensure transparency and free flow of information, data is a most important currency.”

His comment comes on the back of former President John Dramani Mahama’s fears that the National Communications Authority (NCA) is likely to shut down the internet in the country on December 7 when Ghana goes to the polls.

According to him, the fears are hinged on recent actions of the state agency in their handling of media organisations in their coverage of scandals and opposition parties.

Mr. Mahama in an interview with TV XYZ Sunday said his interviews with Kumasi-based Abusua FM some weeks ago, was compromised after the frequency of the station was jammed by the NCA.

“One of the tragedies of the Akufo-Addo government is the bastardization of state agencies. And the NCA has been an example. In my recent interview with Abusua FM, we had advertised the show, then on the day, the NCA took their frequency off so they had to shift to Ultimate FM.

“I’m also aware of what they did to Joy when they were going to broadcast that investigative piece on the National Lotteries. Joe Anokye is handling the NCA as a political office. I think on the election day they can shut down the internet or any of the things dictators do. I hope we win and stop all that,” he said.

However, the authority has rejected claims by former President John Mahama that it will shut down the internet in the country on December 7.

“As part of its mandate, the NCA has licensed several categories of service providers to deliver Internet connectivity to Ghana. They include Internet Service Providers, Broadband Wireless Access Service Providers and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). There are also multiple international undersea fibre optic cables and several satellite systems which provide Ghana with access to the Internet.

“The NCA does not have access or “keys” to any of these networks, and therefore cannot remotely shut the internet down. To block the Internet or restrict access to a particular website, all submarine cable companies, MNOs and other service providers would have to agree to do so.

“The Authority has not directed any of its licensees to shut the Internet down on Election Day as claimed in the news report, and there is no intention to do so.”