In line with the target set by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), for the shift from analog to digital broadcasting, Cross River State is currently assessing all available options to ensure that the State is not left out on the June 17th 2015, NBC deadline on Broadcast digitization.
State Commissioner for Information, Akin Ricketts, hinted that the State has started considering some proposals brought forth by some telecommunication companies like Startimes, Multi-Choice Nigeria Limited, Daar Communications Satellite, amongst others. He said that the State would accept the proposals set before it to properly select the option that is cost-effective and which would also add value to the State’s Broadcasting system.
Ricketts while receiving a team of telecommunication experts from Startimes Ltd, said Cross River State is always ready to undertake productive and developmental projects that would improve the State at all levels. He added that those responsible for the dissemination of Information need all the necessary tools to achieve desired results.
Presenting a proposal for the digitalization, upgrade of facilities and the installation of digital broadcast equipment for the State’s television, the Zonal Director, NTA Startimes, South-East, Dele Ahmed explained that, the digitalization exercise would help to ensure clearer signals, wider reach and quality content, amongst others. He emphasized the need for the State Government to partner with Startimes, which already had a track record of helping Tanzania and Rwanda in their transition from analog to digital broadcast. Startimes with more than 1.8 million subscribers he said, was already transforming NTA studios in Nigeria, starting with the Abuja studio, in line with the digitalization standards and presently has branches in Seventeen (17) African countries, while assuring that with the company’s wealth of experience the work in Cross River State can be executed. He further noted that, the Cross River State Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC) Channel on Startimes, would not require any subscription fee to be able to access the station when the project is completed.
Present at the proposal presentation were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Freedom Ejom, General Manager, CRBC, Aye Henshaw, Head of Administration, Ministry of Information, Aniedi Ekpenyong, CRBC’s team of engineers, amongst others.
The move to Broadcast Digitalization was earlier proposed in 2006 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), when it set a target deadline for the world to transform from analog to digital mode of broadcasting. As a result, Nigeria’s deadline for Broadcast Digitalization was initially fixed for June 17, 2012, but later shifted to June 17, 2015 by NBC, since adequate time was needed to acquire the desired result. Cross River State is now working assiduously towards achieving digital broadcast transition come 2015.
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