The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says only 37. 3 million households in the country have access to television.

Speaking in Lagos during a press conference on Wednesday, Emeka Mba, NBC’s director general, said of the above figure, only four million households have access to digital television.

Mba said the commission was making efforts on Digital Switch Over (DSO) in the country, saying over 30 million Set-Top Boxes (STBs) would be required to migrate to digital broadcasting.

STB is a hardware device that allows a digital signal to be received, decoded and displayed on a television.

The signal can be a television signal or Internet data and is received via cable or telephone connection.

The STB can deliver more channels than a television’s own channel numbering system. It receives signals containing data for multiple channels and filter out the channel a user wants to view.

”DSO is a technological challenging process. Nigeria will need over 30 million Set-Top Boxes in the next two years to attain the DSO,” he said.

Mba said the commission had already commissioned 13 companies that would manufacture the STBs locally.

”Off-shore mass production and delivery of initial sub vented boxes for Jos pilot project is envisaged to be completed by the end of October, while the local manufacture of the set top boxes is expected to begin in April 2016,” he added.

He said there would be a re-launch of the DSO in Jos, by the first week of November and 500,000 STBs would be deployed at that pilot stage.

Mba said Nigeria and most of the African countries failed to meet the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) DSO deadline of June 17, 2015.

According to him, the ITU deadline was not met due to lack of fund and myriads of challenges before the NBC.

He added that such challenges included aggregate content development, distribution and production and availability of STBs.



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