The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has won their case at a High Court in Ghana against the planned inclusion of Conditional Access System (CAS) in FTA receivers by the National Communications Authority.
The Court held that the Conditional (Controlled) Access System, which the NCA has made a necessity for the importation of television sets and set-top-boxes, enables it to impose and collect an electronic tax in the form of TV License Fees in the absence of any substantive or subsidiary legislation to that effect, amounts to Jurisdictional Error by Excess of Jurisdiction.
Therefore, the provision for the inclusion of a Conditional Access System for Free-to-Air TV receivers was illegal and consequently quashed.
The Court ruling also laid emphasis on the continuous need for open and honest engagement with stakeholders to foster partnerships in formulating policies, not just for the media industry but in all other sectors, especially when policies that affect them are developed.
The Ghanaian policy for migrating from analogue to digital television transmission has set the country’s television receiving equipment standards.
In a statement from GIBA, the Association notes that the “judgement has brought clarity on GIBA’s vehement rejection of the NCA policy to introduce the Conditional Access System for blocking and controlling access to the contents of its Free-To-Air (FTA) broadcasting members.”