GIBA accuses Communications Ministry of publishing doctored document
The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has accused the Ministry of Communications of doctoring standard documents to sneak in conditional access for free-to-air television by using a backdoor means.
GIBA in a statement signed by its President, Andrew Danso-Aninkora, explained the Ghana Standards Authority on December 18, 2019, delivered a revised standard on Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)and Direct-To-Home (DTH) Receivers by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), which they had welcomed.
The revised standard made the Conditional Access System (CAS) non-mandatory for Free-To-Air TV Receivers.
However, the document which was published on December 30, 2019, by the National Communications Authority (NCA) on their official website as a technical standard, according to GIBA, had been doctored by the MoC.
“The requirements include the acquisition of a special decoder with proprietary software before anyone could watch any Free-to-Air television programme in Ghana.”
“The special decoder shall be controlled by Conditional Access software and Middleware applications,” the statement read.
The statement goes on to add that, the Ministry of Communication had ignored the valid concerns of industry players by imposing encryption on the industry which is against constitutional and statutory provisions guaranteeing media freedom and the right to information.
“Blocking access to public service free-to-air television networks such as TV3, TV Africa, Joy Prime, Adom TV, UTV, Crystal TV, etc. raises serious constitutional concerns, relating to freedom of the media and the right to information.”
Find the full statement below