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General News of Friday, 23 December 2016

Source: Clifford Frimpong

Satellite hub to bridge rural-urban divide launched

A VSAT satellite Hub with 2000 Internet points, expected to provide universal access to telecommunication for remote communities in the country has been launched.

The installation of the satellite was a joint project between the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and Dizengoff Ghana Limited based in Accra.

Total cost of the project is thirty-Seven (37) Million Ghana Cedis and covers operation and maintenance cost for 2 years, provision of 100 Internet sites as well as 25 Real-Time Transport Protocol RTPs.

According to the administrator of GIFEC, Mr. Kwabena Owusu Akyeampong, 80 Internet sites and 11 RTPs have been covered under the first phase of the project.

Delivering a speech at the launch yesterday (December 21) in Accra, Mr. Akyeampong, maintained that his outfit has over the years rolled out various programmes geared towards achieving its goals.

He mentioned that GIFEC through its Universal Access to Electronic Communications established fifty-one (51) rural telephony sites and also provided Internet point of presence to 311 project sites among others.

Mr. Kwabena Akyeampong indicated that the installed VSAT Satellite Hub would facilitate the deployment of the rural telephony project and would run on a self-financing sustainability model.

He added that the satellite Hub would among other things; provide satellite communication services, delivering a terrestrial-grade experience with voice, video and data that can be extended to all unserved communities in the country

He said, the construction of the Satellite Hub would reduce recurrent cost of providing Internet service to over 300 community information centres, senior high schools and rural telephony sites in the long run.

Private sector to take advantage of ICT infrastructure,

On his part, Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Ofosu Kwakye highlighted the need for massive investment in Information Communication Technology ICT, being a major contributor to the economy.

He said the satellite Hub and the National Data Centre backed by several other ICT infrastructure, would provide a safer and more secure data storage to government as well as the private sector.

He was hopeful ICT could address the issue of youth unemployment and also rapidly grow the economy.

Hon. Ofosu Kwakye challenged the private sector especially to take advantage of the several ICT infrastructures put in place by the NDC government to improve their businesses.

He commended the GIFEC and Dizegoff Ghana limited for the project undertaken, saying the feat indicated their commitment towards living up to expectation.