National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said new broadcasting licenses, especially television stations would have to wait till 2015 when the country must have migrated from analogue to digital broadcasting.
Mr. Emeka Mba, director-general of the Commission who stated this at the maiden Telecom Summit organized by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) in Lagos, yesterday, pointed out that lack of spectrum contributed to the NBC’s decision to halt further licencing of broadcasting stations.
Also, the NBC is set to intensively pursue the enactment of a new broadcasting act that will govern the transmission and reception of television signals in the post digitization era to commence in Nigeria by January 2015.
The digititization law will empower three major signal distributors to be derived from 2 independent distributors, licensed through an open bid and an independent body that will be gotten from the present national television authority to power the digitization process.
Mba while speaking on: Digital Dividend and the Future of Broadband in Nigeria,” said that concerted efforts being pursued by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Communication Technology and the NCC will add value to the digital broadcasting era in Nigeria.
Deadline for the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial transmission has been postponed several times in the past in Nigeria.
However, the DG said that Nigeria must hit the January 2015 mark and all efforts are on to get appropriate infrastructure to spur the swift take off.
“The Open Access infrastructure sharing paradigm by NCC is a welcome development. We are happy that this is happening now, because infrastructure sharing will actually help to deliver services to people in the hinterlands,” he said.
For digitization to become reality in Nigeria, however, many deliverables like regulatory frameworks, content funding, distribution and viewers’ access to terrestrial transmission must be put in place before the second quarter of 2014, NBC has said.