The Ministry of Communications will by July this year commence the national Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Digital Switch Over (DSO).
Sector minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who announced this said, the process to switch from analogue to digital terrestrial technology was nearing completion.
Speaking with stakeholders on plans regarding the DTT migration project in Accra, she said coverage measurement on signal quality of the DTT network infrastructure showed a current population coverage of almost 90 per cent with broadcasting signals.
The meeting was to update stakeholders including Ministry of Information, National Communications Authority, National Media Commission, Actors Guild, broadcasters on the National DTT Platform, Film Producers Association of Ghana, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ghana Independent Content Providers Association and the Ghana Institute of Engineers on the current status of the project and solicit their inputs.
"The headend at Kanda and the 42 transmission sites nationwide have been completed and all connected to the National Electricity Grid," the minister stated.
She said a Central Digital Transmission Company (CDTC) would facilitate the smooth interaction between broadcasters and the platform operator as well as manage and operate the infrastructure which would offer transmission services to broadcasters and not to control the content provided by broadcasters to be transmitted.
The DTT policy, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful explained, provides for an effective and efficient collection of TV licence through the use of technology which would ensure that revenue generated was used to sustain the public broadcaster, the DTT infrastructure and facilitate local content development.
The introduction of DAF, however, will require all citizens to acquire new digital Set Top Boxes (STBs) which are compatible with the NCA's recently published standards.
The minister debunked assertions that it was illegal for the NCA to publish the standards for the national DTT network or that the Ministry Of Communications (MoC) had doctored standards published by the Ghana Standards Authority.
"The DTT will benefit the country a lot from the creation of at least 10,000 new jobs which includes employment from the production, installation and maintenance of new digital Set Top boxes, development of a vibrant local media content ecosystem, enhanced opportunities for electronic advertising, information dissemination and better picture quality in addition to revenue from the digital dividend from freed up spectrum," she added.
The ministry, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, said would collaborate with the Ministry of Information to intensify publicity campaign to ensure that all citizens were well informed of the DSO before actual implementation.
She said government would ensure the active participation of all stakeholders in the digital migration process as their input was necessary for its success.
A representative of the broadcasters confirmed the support of all broadcasters on the national platform and assured the minister of their full cooperation to ensure the right levels of awareness are created to ensure a seamless DSO for Ghana.