The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says it will roll out Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Enugu state on Monday, Feb. 12, and in Osun on Feb. 23.
The Director-General of NBC, Malam Is’haq Kawu, who disclosed this at a news conference, on Thursday in Abuja, said that the commission was committed to roll out digitisation in many states this year.
Kawu disclosed that NBC had scheduled to switch on digitisation in one state from each of the six Geo-Political Zones in 2018, saying “ we are steadily implementing this new digital broadcasting process.“
The DG said presently, the second National signal distributor, Pinnacle Communications Ltd had moved to site in Delta, and are also packed up for work in Gombe state.
According to him, NBC has envisaged that by the end of the third quarter of 2018, it would have switched on in 12 states around Nigeria.
“ Those of you who are following the process would have witnessed the roll out of the DSO in two more states, namely Kaduna and Kwara at the end of 2017.
“ The roll out in Kwara and Kaduna states brought the number of states now switched on to four.
“ We have already scheduled Monday, Feb. 12 for the switch on for Enugu state and similarly, Feb. 23 has been affirmed for the switch on in Osun,” he said.
Kawu commended all stakeholders in the implementation process for their resolve to work together towards a common good, adding that the new resolve had given the process the needed impetus.
He said recently NBC held a retreat in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, to review the progress of the DSO; the broadcast industry took some major steps, which would further guarantee a seamless transition.
He said that each player now understands more clearly, roles they are to play in the DSO eco-system, adding that NBC had also consciously delineated revenue streams for all players to avoid rancour.
According to him, the Broadcasters, Signal Distributors, Content Aggregator, Set top Box Manufacturers are all on the same page now, to help strengthen the work of delivering the DSO.
Kawu said that NBC had also informed the pay DTT Operators, GOTV and NTA/STAR TIMES, to begin discussions with the two signal distributors, ITS and Pinnacle Communications.
“ This is because, in line with the Government White Paper on the Transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting after June 2019, the pay DTT operators would no longer be licensed to operate as both content providers and signal distributors.
“ Similarly, we are going to also begin a phased Analogue Switch Off (ASO), in Plateau state and the FCT, by the end of the First Quarter of 2018.
“ And as part of acceleration of the work, we have commenced the digital mapping of Nigeria. It is a process that will help to give clarity to the entire DSO process.“
In a related development, Kawu disclosed that NBC had submitted a long list of new Radio and Television stations to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.
He said that the President had always been encouraging the NBC to open up accesses for Nigerians to be able to register new radio and television stations.
According to Kawu, President Buhari believes that radio and television stations help in deepening democratic discourse, and assist in creating new jobs through its value chain.