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Mobile Network Operators to Prioritize Critical Service Providers Amid Internet Disruption

The prioritised institutions include the institutions which include the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB), the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Central Securities Depository, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Ghana have agreed to prioritize and allocate more data resources to about 8 institutions that provide critical services in the country following disruptions in internet connectivity that happened about a week ago.

In a statement on Monday, March 18, 2024, the National Communications Authority (NCA) said it met with stakeholders to understand and find solutions to the peculiar challenges facing financial and public utility service providers regarding the impact of the current data connectivity disruptions affecting banking transactions and digital payments of utilities such as water and electricity.

At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that due to the limited bandwidth currently available, MNOs would review their operations and consider the possibility of prioritising and allocating more data resources to critical services while they work with the Subsea cable Landing Service Providers to progressively improve internet data capacity.

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The prioritised institutions include the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB), the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Central Securities Depository, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

The NCA further said it also recommended that financial and utility service providers consider hosting critical services locally. This would ensure continuous service delivery in the face of major disruptions like the ongoing situation. Leveraging local internet exchanges like the Ghana Internet Exchange (GIX) and the Accra Internet Exchange (AIX) would further fortify the resilience of these services.

On Thursday, March 14, a major internet disruption hit West and Central Africa as a result of damages to multiple subsea cables, reports from operators of multiple subsea cables said.

In a first face-to-face meeting with stakeholders after the incident, the NCA revealed that full-service restoration may take about five weeks.

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However, the NCA has emphasized its commitment to keep the public informed about any further developments regarding the situation.

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