Communications Minister breaks ground …for work on Fiber Optic Broad Band project
Stories from Samuel Agbewode
The government has assured Ghanaians of its total commitment to the promotion of a vibrant communication network system that would help facilitate effective communication at the grassroots to central government, as a way of bridging the gap between the urban areas, in terms of getting access to modern ways of communication in the country
As a result, the Minister of Communications, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, who gave the assurance, launched the new fiber-optic network and project to lay a fiber optic cable from Ho to Bawku, a distance of 600 kilometres for a network that would provide high-speed data links between the central government functions and the remote areas.
The construction company to work on the project, Alcatel- Lucent, under the agreement with the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), would also manage the network operations of the nation, and the scope of the initial phase project to covered all regional capitals, to effectively cover the municipal and district assemblies and connect them to a single shared communications and computing infrastructure that would help construct a national data center in Accra.
Speaking at the function in Ho, the Communications Minister said in November 2008, the government approved a 30 million US dollar loan facility which the government of China extended for the construction of the initial phase of a nationwide fiber optic infrastructure for the nation.
Mr. Iddrisu explained that the project, which was aimed at bridging the communication gap between the rural and urban areas, would have its service target areas to include hospitals, schools, police stations, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and immigration offices among others to help improve service delivery in the deprived areas.
Mr. Iddrisu pointed out that the government intended to improve the fiber optic system to ensure fast and reliable data center infrastructure.
He added that the fiber optic project from Ho to Bawku was also aimed at addressing the communication needs of people in communities along the eastern corridor road, as well as bridge the gap between the south and the northern parts of the country.
The Communication Minister pointed out that the fiber optic project along the eastern corridor road was expected to stimulate more economic activities, as it would attract a lot of the private sector partners in the service delivery sector to the area, and delivery of government services in a more timely and efficient manner.
Mr. Iddrisu said the project would also have a direct economic impact on the lives of the inhabitants of the area, and that the eastern corridor road would be open to both local and international communities, as access to the internet would increase.
He further added that many more jobs opportunities would be created, thereby improving on the livelihoods of the inhabitants of the communities.
The Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Henry Ford Kamel, on behalf of the chiefs and people of the Volta Region, commended the government for the initiation of the fiber optic project along the eastern corridor road.
He said this would definitely open up the northern parts of the region for the needed development that would open up the area to investors.
Mr. Kamel promised that the people of the Volta Region were prepared to ensure the smooth implementation of the project, and advised the contractor to work with free mind, as the people in the region were prepared to offer the needed support in order to ensure the early completion of the project.
The Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Isaac Kodobisah, said the assembly was ready to provide the needed assistance to the contractor to ensure that the project starts on a sound footing, and said other municipal and district assemblies in the region were prepared to give the same support to the contractor.
The contractor of the Fiber Optic project, Mr. Daniel Jaeger, who supported the Communication Minister to operate one of the equipments to be used to execute the project to signify the start of work, said he would work hard to meet the contract period, which was one year.
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