The National Communications Authority (NCA) has taken another giant step by inaugurating a new Broadcasting Monitoring Centre (BMC) in Accra to help monitor broadcast content in the country.
The Broadcasting Monitoring Centre (BMC) would also play a crucial role by providing solutions to some of the challenges faced in the broadcasting space in the country.
These challenges faced by various Agencies include ensuring efficient spectrum management, making sure Operators in this field deliver on the technical specifications that they are required to, and having a smart digital archiving system for broadcasting content.
Contrary to the broadcasting industry, current technologies for broadcasting via the internet and social media platforms give people the ability to retrieve past content, unlike traditional broadcasting which is transient in nature.
The Board Chairman of NCA, Mr. Isaac E. Osei-Bonsu (Jnr), made this known during the official commissioning of the Broadcasting Monitoring Centre (BMC) in Accra.
According to him, with the rapid development of the Radio and Tv Industry and its convergence with telecommunications, it has become necessary to ensure the quality of broadcasting services.
“The Broadcast media monitoring solutions such as the BMC play an important role in the society, for content monitoring purposes for various institutions including but not limited to the National Media Commission, National Security and other security apparatus, Food and Drug Authority, GHAMRO and others,” he explained.
The main purpose of this initiative is to protect consumers of broadcasting services. This is in accordance with Section 5C of the NCA Act 769 which states that protection of the interests of consumers or users of communications networks or communications services and in particular to the interests of consumers’ choice, quality of service, and value for money.
The Broadcasting Monitoring Centre also provides a classic example of how the provision of systems or solutions by one Agency can be useful and critical for other agencies.
More so, the BMC will provide information to the various Agencies when needed for investigations or for verification, providing a digital plug for the recording and storing of broadcasting content in a digital format.
The NCA recognised the need to expand and upgrade the system for their own regulatory use and the benefit and also for the benefit of other State Agencies.
The Director General of, the National Communications Authority (NCA) Mr. Joe Anokye, disclosed that over the years as the number of FM radio and television broadcasting authorizations has increased there was the need to automate the regulatory compliance administration.
“By late 2017, it had become apparent that we could no longer rely exclusively on periodic spectrum monitoring to verify compliance with technical conditions associated with Authorizations; neither could we fully leverage our legacy systems to efficiently manage the increased number of broadcast authorizations,” he explained.
According to him, NCA last year signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the National Media Commission to regulate Broadcast Content which had helped in establishing the BMC to provide the required technical support for the objectives of the Memorandum of Cooperation.
Mr. Anokye disclosed that the new system had 16 satellite receivers and monitors, all 13 satellites providing Free to Air (FTA) satellite TV services over the territory.