General Politics

We’ve no capacity to block, jam broadcasting signals – NCA to Mahama

The National Communications Authority has refuted claims that it will shut down the internet on election day as claimed by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama.

The Authority also says it has no capacity to block, jam or interfere with broadcasting signals of radio or TV stations.

Mr Mahama in an interview with TV XYZ Sunday alleged that his interview with Kumasi-based Abusua FM some weeks ago, was compromised after the frequency of the station was jammed by the NCA.

“One of the tragedies of the Akufo-Addo government is the bastardization of state agencies. And the NCA has been an example. In my recent interview with Abusua FM, we had advertised the show, then on the day, the NCA took their frequency off so they had to shift to Ultimate FM.

“I’m also aware of what they did to Joy when they were going to broadcast that investigative piece on the National Lotteries. Joe Anokye is handling the NCA as a political office. I think on the election day they can shut down the internet or any of the things dictators do. I hope we win and stop all that,” he said.

But reacting to these claims, the NCA in a statement said the remarks are completely unfounded.

“The Authority has not directed any of its licensees to shut the Internet down on Election Day as claimed in the news report, and there is no intention to do so,” the statement said.

The statement added that: “The NCA does not have the capability to block, jam or interfere with broadcasting signals. As a telecommunications and broadcasting regulator, and in line with global best practice, the NCA has frequency spectrum monitoring equipment whose ability is limited to receiving signals and detecting their source, but not to jam them.

Where necessary, Section 13 of ECA, 2008, Act 775 provides the basis and procedure for shutting down a radio communication service provider. The NCA serves notices and subsequently physically closes the facilities down and then monitors thereafter for compliance.

“The NCA does not interfere in the work of its broadcasting and Internet Service Licensees.”

Read the full NCA statement below:

The National Communications Authority (NCA) has taken note of remarks on the online news portal Ghanaweb, dated 22nd November, 2020, and attributed to former President John Mahama in which he claims the NCA might shut down the Internet on Election Day, 7th December, 2020.

The NCA hereby advises Ghanaians to disregard the remarks as completely unfounded.

A second misleading publication on Ghanaweb, dated 12th November, 2020, was attributed to a former Deputy Communication Minister under the headline: “Ato Sarpong Blasts NCA for Taking Abusua FM Off Air before Mahama Interview”.

Mr. Sarpong’s accusation is also wholly false.

Finally, a break in transmission of a documentary by Accra-based station, Joy FM, which was, apparently, experienced on multiple digital platforms on the night of 18th November, 2020, was also erroneously attributed by some to deliberate interference by the NCA.

Interference with Internet Communications

As part of its mandate, the NCA has licensed several categories of service providers to deliver Internet connectivity to Ghana. They include Internet Service Providers, Broadband Wireless Access Service Providers and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

There are also multiple international undersea fibre optic cables and several satellite systems which provide Ghana with access to the Internet. The NCA does not have access or “keys” to any of these networks, and therefore cannot remotely shut the internet down. To block Internet or restrict access to a particular website, all submarine cable companies, MNOs and other service providers would have to agree to do so.

The Authority has not directed any of its licensees to shut the Internet down on Election Day as claimed in the news report, and there is no intention to do so.

Interferences with Broadcasting Signals

The NCA does not have the capability to block, jam or interfere with broadcasting signals. As a telecommunications and broadcasting regulator, and in line with global best practice, the NCA has frequency spectrum monitoring equipment whose ability is limited to receiving signals and detecting their source, but not to jam them.

Where necessary, Section 13 of ECA, 2008, Act 775 provides the basis and procedure for shutting down a radio communication service provider. The NCA serves notices and subsequently physically closes the facilities down and then monitors thereafter for compliance.

The NCA does not interfere in the work of its broadcasting and Internet Service Licensees. On the contrary, the NCA assists them to promptly resolve cases of interference when they arise. Licensees are therefore advised to report outages or cases of interference to the NCA for prompt investigation and resolution, and not misinform their audiences and clients.

Issued by the National Communications Authority:

No. 6 Airport City, Accra

Tel: (0)30 – 2776621/2771701 or 050-145-1522/3.

E-mail: info@nca.org.gh

Date –23rd November, 2020

Source: classfmonline.com/

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