AFAG officials back formation of Interconnect Clearing House

In an effort to make the telecom sector more transparent and accountable for its customers in Ghana, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has been a vocal supporter of establishing an Interconnect Clearing House (ICH).

According to a letter penned by AFAG officials Henry Haruna Asante, Wesley Owusu and Davis Opoku, a recent National Communication Authority (NCA) press conference indicated that many of Ghana's telecom providers were in favor of the ICH, which has been in development for seven years.

"AFAG's support for the ICH is in line with the global trend, where in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere, tele-houses play same function as the ICH," the letter read. "It is AFAG's believe that, a competitive telecommunication sector can bring about various attractive marketing offers to consumers, and above all, the lowering of pricing of telecom services."

Issues that could be resolved by the ICH include interconnectivity pricing, full disclosure of call volumes and SIM Box fraud.

"We are worried that the liberty of telecommunication companies to charge their own interconnect fees is alienating those with smaller market shares and this occurrence is a probable barrier to expansion and greater participation in the industry," the letter said. "It is clear that interconnect clearing house, when established, would create fixed interconnect charges for the industry and that could increase competition and a reduction of call charges as has happened in Nigeria."

The security and services provided through the ICH could also mean more start-up telecom companies.

"AFAG considers the ICH policy as revolutionary," the letter said. "We entreat all Ghanaians to accept the operationalization of ICH in the country. We urge all stakeholders to eschew trivialities, the personalization and politicization of such a policy we consider very wholesome for public consumption."

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Alliance for Accountable Governance

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