NBC EXTENDS DIGITAL SWITCHOVER DATE
Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr Emeka Mba, has extended the switch over from analogue to digital broadcasting by 18 months.
The broadcasting regulatory body had already assured that the June 17, 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the digital switch over was sacrosanct.Also Read
About a month to the deadline, Mr Mba explained that three years into the process of digitisation with zero allocation and myriads of challenges before the NBC such as aggregate content development, distribution and production and availability of set top boxes, the June 17 deadline is uncertain.Digitisation
He noted that it took the United Kingdom a few attempts of about 14 years and nearly £6.4 billion to digitise broadcasting, stating that Nigeria need not take that much time if efficiently managed and with appropriate funding.
He said the Nigerian television industry is in the middle of a dramatic transformation, noting that digitisation cannot be forced.
The NBC boss noted that if forced, Nigeria would risk cutting off about 80% of its citizens, which would automatically kill the content market, as well as the advertising industry in the country.
By June 17, all analogue transmissions would lose the protection by the ITU, which may result in multiple interferences in transmissions across neighbouring countries.
However, Mr Mba said the inability to meet the deadline is not peculiar to Nigeria, adding that ECOWAS based contingency plans were set up to deal with the challenges that may arise.
With the extension of the deadline, the new date for the switch over is now December 2016.