" ITREALMS: Digital Migration: FG may soon release white paper


Join us @2023 NDSF ... coming loaded only for 5G - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news! The 2023 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum, Internet Governance, Development, IG4D, is comi...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Digital Migration: FG may soon release white paper

In the coming weeks, the Federal Government (FG) may release the white paper on digital migration for the country.

The white paper, ITRealms Online gathered would extract most of its contents from the supposed documents submitted by the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) on Digital Migration over two year ago.

This indication was given at the weekend by the Zonal Director, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Femi Ayeni in a chat with ITRealms Online in Lagos at the launch of Walka Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld.

While urging Nigerians to be patient with the Federal Government over the time it may have taken to get to this point, he said that the white paper would be released soon to justify their patience.

According to him, the white paper is expected to take lots of inputs on modalities for implementation of the nation’s digital migration plans from the outcome of the submissions of the Presidential Committee on Digital Migration.

These, he said, would not be limited to how to deploy the decoder boxes and eventual incentives for broadcast operators in the country in order to ease off any hardship that may come in the way of the migration.

As said by him, most Television houses in the country are already on digital channels, which means they have migrated their services and broadcasting.

When the white paper is released, he anticipates further discussions on the implementation processes.
In a related development, the Ministry of Communications Technology (CommTech) stated in the recently released draft of the national Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) policy that Nigeria should take advantage of the on-going transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.

This, the Ministry noted, is a current global trend towards conversion from analogue to digital broadcasting and Nigeria should take advantage of the opportunities inherent in this transformation.

They listed some of the benefits of  migration  to include  higher  quality  reception,  access  to  more  channels  and availability of a wider spectrum of Value Added Services (VAS).

Also, CommTech Ministry stated that the policy objectives would comprise to comply   with   International Telecommunication Union (ITU)   mandate   of   migrating   from   analogue   to   digital broadcasting; and to properly manage the benefit of digital dividends that will result from the migration.

According to a copy f the document available to ITRealms Online, section 7.13.2 which centres on strategies emphasized that the government plans to embark on a massive publicity campaign for the purpose of sensitizing the general public on the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting; ensure availability and cost effectiveness of set top boxes; and encourage the local manufacturing of set top boxes in Nigeria.

Additionally, the document proposed that the Federal Government, through the Ministry would develop a licensing regime for signal distributors and content providers; provide a clear roadmap for harvesting the “digital dividend” spectrum and ensure competitive allocation of the resource; and ensure compliance of migration by the ITU mandated dates of 2015 for Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) and 2020 for Very high frequency (VHF).

ITRealms Online recalls that mid-last year, a two-day media workshop on digital broadcasting migration was held at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (FCTA), with participants demanding for the official release of the white paper submitted by the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) on Digital Migration in Nigeria over 25 months ago.

The workshop, which held at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Utako District, Abuja, saw participants arguing that the formal release of the white paper would enable the Nigerian public to know the contents, and for the media to x-ray the paper to spur immediate implementation by the federal government and private sector operators, especially in the broadcasting industry.

Participants noted that the commencement of the implementation process is crucial for charting the way forward for the country, mostly in fulfillment of the global agenda for countries of the world to migrate to digital platform by July 2015, of which Nigeria and some African countries have since brought their migration deadline to July 15, 2013 as a way of fast-tracking the process.

Also, participants at the forum mainly media practitioners lambasted the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for not doing enough in leading the campaign for digital migration in the country.

“It is unfortunate that most people, especially media practitioners based in Abuja where NBC is based don’t know much about the issues around digital migration efforts by Nigeria,” one of the participants decried.

The workshop witnessed presentation of papers on “digital transition: behind the issues; digital migration in Africa and globally; digital migration in Nigeria; challenges of reporting digital migration in Nigeria; Research report on Nigeria Digital Migration,” among others.

The coordinator of the event of the Nigeria Digital Migration workshop, Mr. Emmanuel Edet disclosed the workshop was organized by the Association for Progressive Communication in collaboration with London-based online news medium, Balancing Act and Open Society Initiative.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

No comments: