Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Digital migration attainable by 2012 – Akunyili

The June 17, 2012 deadline for digital migration of the nation’s broadcasting community from analogue has been described as attainable by the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. (Mrs) Dora Akunyili.

She made this declaration at the weekend while receiving the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) on digital transition at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, endorsing June 17, 2012 as Nigeria’s transition date from analogue to digital television broadcasting.

According to the minister, there is no going back on the 2012 deadline for transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting in line with international standards.

While commending members of the committee for a job well done, Prof. Akunyili said that the broadcasting sector has progressed rapidly with the establishment of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and successes being recorded by the commission have brought tremendous changes to the sector.

She assured Nigerians of the readiness of government to critically study the report submitted and begin the implementation process.

Commenting earlier, Chairman of the committee and an engineer, Mr. Isaac Wakombo, said that in line with the committee’s terms of reference, they deliberated on the implications of digitalization and their report is an advice for a policy framework, as well as strategies for implementing the process.

The committee, he said, amongst others recommended the restructuring of the licensing framework in the broadcasting sector, which will lead to two categories of licenses; a broadcasting content license and a broadcasting signal distribution license.

In addition, the committee recommended a suitable infrastructural digital broadcasting standard that would ensure compatibility on both the national and international levels.

Director-General of NBC, Mr. Yomi Bolarinwa, in his remarks, explained that digitalization presents great opportunities for highly improved television transmission and reception, saying that the freed-up spectrum will deliver new services and earn good revenue for government.

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