By Florence Onuegbu
Information and Culture Minister Alh Lai Mohammed revealed this when he led the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture Ministerial Working Group on the Digital Switchover (DSO) during the ‘a courtesy visit to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina.
Mohammed said the decision to switch to digital television followed a treaty agreement signed at the Regional Radio Communication Conference (RRC-06)in Geneva, Switzerland on June 16, 2006 to inaugurate broadcast services terrestrial “ fully digital ” for sound. and television before June 17, 2015.
He said this would create a more equitable, just and people-centered information society, which would connect underserved populations and remote communities, thereby bridging the digital divide.
According to him, the proposed deployment in Lagos will be a crucial step for the DSO and the creative industry, as more than a million jobs would be created across the country.
“We launched the DSO deployment in Jos, Plateau State, on April 30, 2016. Since then, we have deployed the deployment to four other states, Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu and Osun, in addition to the territory of the federal capital, bringing the total to five states and the CTF.
“We are now moving quickly to cover the remaining 31 states. We are kicking off the new deployment here in Lagos State on April 29, 2021.
“The deployment in Lagos reflects our decision to bring the DSO to shopping centers across the country.
“With a population of over 20 million and projected TV households of over five million, the launch of FreeTV in Lagos State will be a critical milestone for the DSO and for the broadcast industry and creation in Nigeria, ”he said.
The Minister added that with DSO’s FreeTV, Nigerians would be able to watch over 60 channels with great content, at a cheaper rate and without a pay TV subscription.
Presenting. Sanwo-Olu with the decoder for the DSO, he said it would also allow the government to get the data of each household with the television.
The minister revealed that six months after the DSO was deployed in Lagos, NBC would ask TV stations to shut down their analog broadcast equipment, making more spectrum available for data and other telecom services.
He stressed that the DSO was relevant for the Lagos Smart City Project and the Lagos Broadband Initiative.
Mohammed therefore urged Sanwo-Olu to ask the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA) to provide signs, street lights and other advertising material for the DSO launch for at least three months. .
“Lagos State, which is the hub of the creative industry, will take a large share of the million jobs to be created.
“As FreeTV helps provide value-added services, the 20 local government zones and 37 LCDAs in Lagos State will be supported in collecting TV and radio licenses from residents.
“With FreeTV’s push system for news services, the FreeTV platform can be used to broadcast news about Lagos State activities to all viewers.
“A major advantage of DSO is that viewers will not pay subscription fees. Once they acquire the decoder and pay the access fee once a year, which is a token, viewing is free.
“Millions of Nigerians, who cannot afford the growing subscription fees charged by PayTV platforms, can now enjoy the benefits of digital television. This is the meaning of bridging the digital divide, ”he said.
In his response, Sanwo-Olu said his administration would support the switch, as it would improve job creation and content development.
He said the DSO would also give the government the ability to use the resulting content to inform and engage with citizens, as well as to bring governance closer to citizens.
The governor advised the ministerial task force to make the FreeTV box and after-sales support easily accessible.
“The shift from the analog setup we currently have to digital is appropriate and it reflects the reality of what we have today.
“Around the world, technology is now a fundamental and essential product of government. It presents an opportunity for citizens to have access to local, national and international space.
“As a forward-looking state, we are in partnership and we see it as a future for our citizens, so we have no problem with that.
“Even for us as a state, we have developed what we call a metropolitan optical fiber to provide fiber connectivity as one of the solutions for our citizens to have access to cheaper data.
“We will support the DSO. We will help. We want Lagos to continue to create the space for the nation. We will help our employees to be exposed to modern and international best practices. We will be willing to work with you and ensure that we deliver together on April 29, ”he said. (NOPE)
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