NCA Shuts Down “Living Room” Radio Station
The National Communications Authority (NCA) on Wednesday shut down Radio Dam, a station that was broadcasting on 104.9FM.
A statement issued by the NCA said not only was the station illegal but it was also operating on an unauthorised frequency.
It said the station was discovered on air in a routine spectrum monitoring exercise conducted by the NCA.
“It was being run from the living room of the operators located at Sahara, a suburb of Dansoman,” it said
The statement said officials of the NCA, with the assistance of the Ghana Police Service, moved in to shut down the station.
Section 3(1) of the Electronics Communications Act (2008), Act 775, states that “except as otherwise provided under this Act a person shall not operate a public electronic communications service or network or provide a voice telephony service without an authorisation granted by the authority”.
The Electronic Communications Regulation, 2011, (LI 1991) further provides that “a person who seeks to provide a broadcasting service shall make an application for a frequency authorisation to the authority”.
The statement said the operators of the frequency were also in breach of Section 73(1)(b)(c) of Act 775 which provides that a person who knowingly fails to comply with prescribed standards and requirements for the use of radio spectrum and provides electronic communication services without a licence where a licence is required commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.
It said operators of the illegal station had denied running an FM station, insisting that they only operated an online station.
“The NCA, however, has recordings of the station operating on the illegal frequency of 104.9FM. Upon checks on the premises, it was discovered that the transmitter, which was subsequently confiscated, had been hidden under the station’s banner,” it added.
It said the NCA consequently issued a Cease and Desist Order to the operators of the frequency.
That order, it said, emphatically warned that if they did not desist from broadcasting the illegal service, the NCA would cause their arrest and subsequent prosecution.
It stated that it was illegal to provide electronic communications services without a licence or authorisation where it was required for the service.