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Govt to license satellite companies as backup in case of internet disruptions-Ursula Owusu

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalization, declared that the government will quickly license satellite companies to act as a stand-in for mobile network carriers in the event that their services are disrupted.

Many Ghanaians have been without internet access due to outages in Mobile Network Operations (MNOs) since Thursday, March 14.

During her Monday update to Parliament on the situation in Accra, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful revealed this idea.

“With regard to the use of satellite as an alternative, it is important to note that the bandwidth of a satellite backup for network operators cannot replace the capacity that has been lost due to the outage. Satellite backup for consumers is more feasible.

“However, the cost is relatively much higher than the terrestrial solutions. Immediate initiatives that the government will undertake is that we will license satellite gateway air stations, London rights, and satellite air station network. One web has already been licensed.

“Starlink is in the process of being licensed, and other operators are being encouraged to land in Ghana. We must also invest in operationalizing RASCOM, the regional African satellite company instead of each company of each country going it alone.”

She further stated that “All network operators must arrange and implement alternative routes to restore full services as they are currently doing. Organizations and enterprises are also encouraged to host their content, databases, applications, and services in at least 2 tier 3 or 4 data centers in different locations.

The Minister added that using the National Data Center as a backup disaster recovery option should be encouraged for public organizations.

“And public organizations must utilize the National Data Center as either their primary or backup recovery disaster recovery data post.”

Declaring Starlink’s operations illegal, the National Communications Authority (NCA) issued a strong warning against using and selling its internet services in December of last year.

The NCA affirmed that it had neither granted Starlink a license nor authorized the use of any of its equipment domestically.