TODAY is Wednesday, December 12, 2012. We are all looking forward to the peak of the festive season — Christmas — which comes up in another 13 days. Part of the efforts to celebrate Christmas in a grand style, by many families is the purchase of new television sets, and for those with a little more empowerment, subscription with a pay-TV service provider, all with one goal in mind — entertainment, information, and education, all at the press of a button on the remote commander. Good!
Fast-forward to June 17, 2015. 19 days earlier, on May 29, another set of political office holders would have been sworn-in, after general elections that would have held in April. Imagine that just 19 days after a new federal administration would have been in office, majority of Nigerians could no longer see their leaders on TV.
If that was bad enough, the same majority could no longer receive signals on their TV sets from their favourite local stations — AIT, Channels, Silverbird, and the 34 state TV stations. Even the broadcast behemoth, NTA, and its 58 channels are off air!
What is happening? What has happened? Very likely, Nigerians would reach for their handsets and start calling friends and acquaintances.
“Ol’boy, your TV dey work? My own no dey work o!”
“Na so I see am o! My own too no work, even my neighbour own sef. Wetin dey happen?”
Conversations like this would dominate the airwaves from June 17, 2015, if the Nigerian government and stakeholders in the broadcast industry do not gird their loins and spring into action immediately.
What will happen on June 17, 2015
On this day and date, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will effect a switch-off of all analogue broadcast signals worldwide. In 2006, Nigeria, and other countries of the world signed a treaty agreement at the conclusion of ITU’s Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06) in Geneva, which treaty heralded development of all digital terrestrial broadcast services for sound and television. What this means is that worldwide, every nation is expected to complete a migration, or transition, as NBC D-G, Yomi Bolariwa said, from analogue to digital broadcasting.
Culled from VANGUARD