Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) has initiated a public consultation on revised guidelines for the deployment of communication towers. The purpose of the review is to include emerging industry standards and procedures for the installation of communication towers, facilitate the development of infrastructure to enhance the delivery of quality services and address environmental issues. Interested parties are invited to submit their comments before 23 October.
Aspects of the guidelines to be revised include a requirement for parties intending to construct a tower to demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken to investigate tower sharing before applying for a permit to construct a new tower within a specified radius of 300m in built-up areas and 200m elsewhere. Under the revised requirements for co-location, operators must, in consultation with the NCA and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), cooperate to agree issues relating to site access, security, rates and compensation, while the tower owners shall provide information to the NCA, EPA and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies on an annual basis to maintain a database of towers available for co-location. A new clause also forbids any sanction being applied to a new tower that is compliant with the stipulated location requirements relating to proximity to high voltage transmission lines if these are subsequently compromised by electricity providers. Finally, the guidelines set out revised timelines for obtaining permits from the coordinating agencies and details of an applicant’s right to appeal.