13 February 2014

Ghana: Internet Costs Projected to Fall

Accra — THE Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, believes the cost of the country's internet services will fall for end users once the costs for service-providers and suppliers dropped.

According to him, the increasing cost of inputs, such as energy, and the macro-economy as a whole also had an impact on what the end-user paid for telecommunications services.

“GIFEC (Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication) is putting up public terminals in rural communities.

"But the price of smart devices is falling, and we can help drop it further in Ghana by removing the taxes on devices so that our people can buy their own handsets and use them,” Sakyi-Addo said at a forum Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a United Kingdom-based organisation, held in Accra.

Commenting on the issue of broadband affordability, the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, said the government would ensure universal broadband usage at all times at speeds capable of guaranteeing adequate capacity usage especially during peak times and affordable price irrespective of geographic location.

Ghana's Broadband Policy defines broadband as bandwidth that provides internet speeds greater than 2 Megabits per second by 2020.

“This target I believe can be achieved with a collective and concerted effort by Government and the private sector,” Boamah said.

At the end of the day' forum, the A4AI Initiative formed a new national multi-stakeholder coalition and action plan in Ghana.

“The stakeholder coalition will contribute to government policy on bringing about affordable Internet access,” the Executive Director of Alliance for Affordable Internet, Sonia Jorge stated.

A4AI is made up a diverse group of private, public and civil society sector players advocating for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets. Its global sponsors include Google, Omidyar Network, UK Department for International Development and United States Agency for International Development.

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