Ms Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitization, inaugurating the new office building for digital transmission in Accra. INSET: The new digital transmission office. Photo: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Preparations are well underway for the migration of analogue terrestrial television (ATT) transmission in the country to a digital terrestrial television (DTT) system.
According to the Minister of Communications and Digitization, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the government was in the process of identifying people to manage the platform, adding that the migration “will happen soon”.
âThe only thing that hasn’t been done is to cut the analog signal. We currently have a double phase of enlightenment; analog and digital work simultaneously, so all that’s left to do is turn off analog transmission, and we’ll do that soon.
“But when that is done, it means you all have to start paying your transport and transmission costs because the government is transporting them for free until now, but it will not continue in perpetuity,” she said. .
The minister said her outfit will soon meet with all stakeholders to deliberate on issues relating to the DTT platform to ensure smooth transmission.
Ms Owusu-Ekuful was speaking to reporters in Accra after the inauguration of an office complex for the Central Digital Transmission Company (CDTC) to manage the platform last Friday.
The office was built by K-NET Limited, the local company that built the DDT platform and has so far managed the system on behalf of the government.
Broadcasting companies, however, have to pay for transport and transmission costs when the country officially switches from ATT to DTT transmission.
According to the minister, the government would no longer bear the cost of transmission, as it had done over the years since the introduction of the DDT platform.
She said that after the official migration, the government would no longer manage the TNT platform but would turn it over to a “100% independent company” who would be responsible for its management and livelihood.
Ms Owusu-Ekuful said the company would decide on the fees, which “would be reinvested” in managing the infrastructure for quality service delivery and would also help the government recover its investment.
She said that although the CDTC is run independently, the government, as a major stakeholder, would help determine the costs of the business.
“We have consultants guiding this process and they have developed a fee schedule which we will discuss with the industry and the company when they come,” said the minister.
For his part, the general manager in charge of human resources, television services at K-NET, Mr. Oscar Nchor, said that the company has established 42 transmission sites across the country as part of the measures to improve the cover.
He said it would be an important step for the country to phase out analog technology as DTT technology provided better signal quality and better coverage.
âOn the payment of transport, it’s just because the electricity is consumed and the connections paid. We use satellite to distribute the broadcast content to remote sites, and you also have to pay for the spectrum, which is a lot of money. The broadcasters will have to drive the business and, therefore, will have to contribute to that cost, âhe said.