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General News of Saturday, 28 July 2012

Source: GNA

NCR touts Prez Mills’ record in telecoms sector

The Network of Communication Reporters (NCR) has called for continuity of policies in the telecommunications sector as a tribute to the late President John Evans Atta Mills.

A statement signed by the Dean of the Network, Charles Benoni Okine said “news of the President’s death on Tuesday July 24, 2012 came to us as a shock and we express our deepest condolences to the former first lady Dr. Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills and the family of our late president.”

It said NCR acknowledged the immense improvement the telecom and ICT sector witnessed under the watch of the late president.

The statement observed that under the late President Mills’ watch, the industry regulatory environment had improved with the National Communication Authority (NCA) becoming more consumer focused than ever.

It said the successful implementation of the SIM Registration policy, and Mobile Number Portability system, which had given the power of choice to the subscriber, were examples of remarkable improvement in the regulatory environment.

The Network also noted that the implementation of the fixed levy on all incoming international calls was also remarkable, given the huge additional revenue of over US$150 million it has generated for this country since June 2010.

“We note with delight that under the watch of the late President, the country’s e-governance project took off with a US$150 million dollar contract awarded to Huawei to provide last mile infrastructure for the delivery of broadband access nationwide,” it said.

The NCR also lauded the late president for continuing with the one laptop per child policy, which has seen several children across the country having access to ICT for the first time in the lives.

The statement noted that in the last few days of the president, the Ministry of Communication commissioned the first ever Digital Divide Study to capture the statistics on the extent of rural-urban and male-female divide in the ICT and telephony access.

“The effort to move from the present analogue system to the digital terrestrial broadcast television by 2014, one year ahead of the 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is also highly recognised”, it added.

It is the NCR opinion “that His Excellency’s policies, programmes and initiatives have set the tone for the much awaited economic boom for this country given that ICT and telecommunication is the key to modern development the world over,” the statement said.

The NCR said as it bids the late president farewell, it congratulates and welcomes the newly sworn in President John Dramani Mahama with the hope that he will continue from where the late president left off.

“We trust that as former Minister of Communication and as someone credited with some of the remarkable developments in the communications, the new president will see the good initiatives of the late president for the sector to their logical conclusion,” the statement said.**