The Communications Minister, Mrs Ersula Owusu Ekuful has indicated that the completion of the 165km Accra-Ho portion of the Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic Backbone extension project will boost telecom services to deprived communities in the country.
She noted that the €3.98 million project which was financed by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) will help reduce the cost of doing business in the country and enable telecos deliver optimum services at an affordable cost.
She said this at the handing over ceremony of the Accra to Ho portion of the Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic Backbone project by DANIDA to the Government of Ghana.
The sector minister added that it is imperative that government works on improving connectivity around the country which will facilitate the e-Health, e-Education, e-Commerce and digital financial services agenda as well as facilitate e-Governance to drive government closer to the people.
Mrs Ekuful indicated that the completion of the last bit of the Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic Extension project will provide the telecoms infrastructure on which the digitization process of the country will ride.
“Without a robust fibre optic network, it is too expensive to deliver telecommunication service to remote part of the country. To deliver high speed internet services to those of us in the urban area it was imperative that the Government place a fibre loop around the country on which we would utilize to extend services to the all the communities along the route. That is the highway which has been built, the Eastern Corridor Fibre extended all the way to this building and connecting to the submarine cables,” she stated.
According to her, what is left now is to operationalize the link and to do the last mile connectivity brining communities along that route to utilize the high speed connectivity to both voice and data usage.
The extension project, she indicated was to facilitate traffic between Accra and all other parts of the country.
“Now that that is done, we are going to build upon that to extend our rural telephony and connectivity program and connect all the countries along the route utilizing mix available technologies,” Mrs Ekuful posited.
The sector minister noted that Government is engaging in talks with the various partners including a Danish company using different modules considering the different sizes of the communities to expand the sector.
“My vision is to see every part of this country connected to high speed internet and voice telephony by the end of the first term of the Nana Addo Akufo Addo’s administration and it is doable because we are promoting infrastructure sharing among the various network operators to drive down the cost of delivering services,” she intimated.
Mrs. Ekuful added that Government has taken steps towards the Western Corridor Fibre Optic infrastructure particularly the offshore connectivity to help workers on the oil fields access a better network service instead of relying on satellite telecommunications service alone.
The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, described the project as the “backbone of the digitization strategy of Ghana” which will create the condition for the roll out of the Ghana Card and the Ghana Post GPS.
Nokia Demark’s Export Director, Jan Plenge performed the official hand over to the Minster of Communication, with the President and CEO of Kenpong Construction, Mr Kennedy Agyepong in attendance.
The project which was undertaken by Nokia Alcatel with Kenpong Construction, a leading Ghanaian construction company, being the sub-contractor responsible for the civil works including the laying and connection of the cables of the entire Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic Backbone project.
Kenpong Construction, for the past 26years has done similar works for National Information Technology Agency (NITTA) and other telecom companies in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
He has an enviable track record as the company with the capacity both technical and financial, knowledge and skills to execute the deal.