Two of Ghana’s major ICT stakeholders National Communications Authority (NCA) and Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications are engaging other players in finding solutions to the incessant disruption of telecoms services, attributed to cable cuts that negatively affect service delivery.
The bodies revealed that within the last nine months alone, Ghana’s telecoms companies have expended more than GHC10 million (approx US$5 million) on repair costs for the cable cuts to restore disrupted services.
Ghana’s NCA stated that the cuts are costing the nation’s economy more than GHC10 million when consideration is given to potential revenue that the network operators often lose in addition to their reputation, which is also damaged and the inconveniences, which consumers have to endure as a result of network downtimes.
To pacify consumers for the disruptions in service, some of the operators had to go beyond issuing press statements to rewarding their subscribers with free air time.
On the overall, the agencies said telecoms service providers within the period under review have reported more than 600 incidents of cuts to their cables. They stated that when investigations were carried out to determine the causes of such cable cuts, it was discovered that road construction alone accounts for two-third of the cuts.
To check this, the NCA and Ghana’s Chamber of Telecommunications are putting together several stakeholder consultations in order to help them determine who should be blamed and held responsible.
At one such meeting that was recently held in Accra, stakeholders went back and forth blaming one another.
They also argued extensively over who should be held liable for cable cuts and how the cost of damage should be determined. The session also featured deliberations on how telecoms operators should go about obtaining permits to lay cables.
In addition to road construction projects, theft, vandalism, illegal mining, gutter dredging, bushfires and excavation works, were also noted, although they were regarded as minor causes.