The Communications and Digitalisation Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has issued a strong warning to road contractors and persons who destroy telecommunication infrastructure such as fibre optic cables that they will face the full rigours of the law.
The Minister noted that National Engineering Coordinating Team (NECT), chaired by the Chamber has road contractors as members, and they have a duty to ensure that the rampant destruction of optic fibre cables, particularly by road contractors, is minimized if not eradicated.
“Let me sound a note of caution to road contractors and other utilities and stakeholders that work in the road corridor that telecommunication infrastructure has been designated as critical information infrastructure. It is a crime to destroy telecommunication infrastructure and this include optic fibre cables”, the Minister said.
“I have not been too happy with the work of the coordinating committee. So I hope that this CI designation gives an impetus to your work. We will enforce the law to the letter and any road contractor or person who destroys fibre optic cables will face the full rigours of the law and bear the cost of restoring this infrastructure to its original state”, she added.
Hitherto, government only pays for the repair of water pipes and electric cables destroyed during road construction, and they the left telecom infrastructure destroyed by road contractors for the private telcos to fix. But the new regime means government will ensure the the culprit road contractors bear the full cost of their action.
When she inaugurated the board of the National Communications Authority (NCA), she reiterated the fact that the digital transformation agenda of government resides on Information, Communications and Technology; telecommunications and the ability to manage the communication sector very well.
She also asked for a robust and tight regulatory approach and charged the board to regulate the sector in a forward looking and transparent manner that promotes fair and equitable competition to benefit all.
The Mininster urged the NCA to strategically position itself to facilitate the achievement of its goals.
“I’ve received the work the chamber has done with the NCA and other regulators to revive the telecommunications tower guidelines. We are considering it and very soon we’ll work and make sure the necessary amendments are done”, she added.