To ensure the fair, responsible and rational use of telecommunications networks and the internet, as the novel Coronavirus continues to spread, the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GCT) is urging the public to adopt responsible internet etiquette and avoid the use of online entertainment services during digital traffic rush-hours, that is between 9:00am and 11:00am and 7:00pm -11:00pm.
According to the Chamber, this is to allow telecommunications networks meet the most demanding needs of communication applications, professional office teamwork and distance learning, which are crucial to a large number of Ghanaian citizens and businesses and critical to the functioning of the entire economy.
Due to the continuous spread of the novel Coronavirus in parts of the country, Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi are under a partial lock-down; a situation which has called for more use of the internet and data services.
In a statement issued by the Chamber, telcos are committed to ensuring “the optimum and seamless operation of telecommunications and emergency services during this period; which has seen increased voice, data and mobile financial services usage.’
Among other recommendations, the Chamber urges the public to turn off background applications when not in use, avoid sending large digital files; if possible, compress and avoid sending bulk emails.
“We believe turning off background applications when not in use, and taking advantage of collaborative teamwork platforms and technologies with colleagues and not exclusively using dedicated video applications, will also help in the rational use of the internet,” the statement said.
They also encourage the public to “avoid making unnecessary video calls, not only during rush hours; but also at all times, adopt Cloud Services for document storage, digital signage, and download only the files necessary to your computer. If it is possible, send a link to the file’s location as opposed to attaching the file itself.”
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They further called on parents to stop their wards from streaming video platforms and social networks, and instead prompt them towards more creative, hands-on tasks.
These comments come at a time when consumers have complained about the high cost of data and called for a reduction since usage has increased.
Gov’t engages telcos to reduce the cost of data over COVID-19 impact
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, says as part of several fiscal measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the government is engaging telcos operating in the country to reduce the cost of data.
According to the CEO of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevor, data usage in Ghana has generally increased by due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing Parliament on Monday on fiscal measures being taken by government to lessen the pressure of the pandemic on people and businesses, the Finance Minister said “Government is engaging the Telcos to reduce the cost of data and telecommunication services to households and small businesses”.
Meanwhile, the MTN Ghana CEO had previously hinted that reducing the cost of data to boost communication amidst the coronavirus pandemic, could increase traffic that will affect internet speed.