The Parliamentary Select Sub Committee on Communications on Thursday 13 June 2013 was hosted by GOtv Ghana Limited Ghana to a visit to the Atomic Hill Digital Terrestrial Transmission site of GOtv Ghana Limited.
The Committee, made up of Hon. Anthony Christian Dadzie, Hon. Ahmend Ibrahim, Hon. Richard Quashigah, Hon. Jeff Kavianu, Hon. Ken Agyapong, Hon. Joe Baidoe-Ansah, Hon. Ursla Owusu, Hon. Albert Abongo, Hon. Fritz Baffour, Hon. James Avedzi, Hon. Bashir Alhassan, Hon. Amin Suleimani, Hon. Daniel Botwe, Hon. Frederick Opare-Ansah and Hon. Shirley Botchway, was led by the chairperson, Hon. Herod Cobbina.
The terrestrial television platform remains one of the most important television delivery platforms in Europe. It is currently one of the most widespread broadcast transmission systems and provides viewers with nearly universal access to both free-to-air and pay television services. The conversion of the terrestrial platform from analogue to digital technology has enabled increased competition in the television market. In many European markets, viewers have been able to access many new services, including greater television programme choice, enhanced quality, and interactivity. The launch of pay services on the DTT platform has allowed viewers to benefit from such services as pay-per-view events, near video-on-demand, and basic pay bouquets. The unique features of the DTT platform allow viewers to benefit from regional and local services as well as portable and mobile reception.
Ghana will be migrating from analogue to digital terrestrial television in the near future and therefore the visit was to familiarize the committee with the benefits of DVB – T2 and to use GOtv as a case study
The Director of GOtv Ghana Limited, Mr. Cecil Sunkwa-Mills, briefed the committee on GOtv’s investments, operations and roll out plans in Ghana and its relevance to the upcoming digital migration.
“Currently, GOtv is the only pay television service provider in the country that uses the Digital Video Broadcast standard technology (DVB T2) which is the most advanced technology standard available in the market worldwide. GOtv is a perfect example of plug and play technology at its best, with your decoder and antenna, you can set up the device yourself.
If your TV is not digital and compatible, a GOtv decoder will act as a receiver box for catching the digital signals and ensure you can use the TV when Ghana migrates to digital transmission.
The GOtv service as you might be aware was specially created to make available an affordable digital television product for all. GOtv offers great family entertainment from local to international channels at affordable prices”, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, Hon Herod Cobbina, expressed their appreciation to GOtv Ghana Limited for giving them an insight into its operations, and for sharing with them the investment and set up needed at a Digital Terrestrial Transmission site. He applauded GOtv Ghana Limited for using the latest transmission technology which he indicated is the standard adopted by Ghana for the migration of all transmissions from analogue to digital.
The Parliamentary Committee on Communications compromising of eighteen members is mandated by the parliament of the Republic of Ghana to deal with general matters relating to communications. Select Sub Committees are set up by Parliament to enable it perform its ultimate task of passing laws. Select Committees are technical or specialized in nature and they provide very useful and rich input into the Parliamentary Processes. An essential provision in the Constitution is that every legislative proposal (a bill), after its first reading, must be referred to a committee that invites public participation in the legislative process. The Committee to which a bill has been referred must report to the House before the second reading and other stages of the bill can be taken.
It is at the committee level that both the elected and the electorates can meet to discuss policies and legislative proposals. Such a meeting has an educational value for Parliament and the public. They learn from each other. An interaction of this nature is helpful to disabuse the minds of the electorate that MPs are aloof and divorced from the people they represent.