NBC taking consumer awareness on digital TV slowly

24 Feb 2014 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 24 FEB (NAMPA) - Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Director-General Albertus Aochamub says the consumer awareness campaign on Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) has not taken off in the way it was planned to.
Aochamub made the statement during a presentation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on the ‘Overview of Digital Migration in Namibia’ here on Monday.
DTT is the technological evolution of broadcast television from analogue television, which transmits land-based (terrestrial) signals.
“There is a good reason why we are doing this slowly. We first need to have the network covering most the country before we can say to the population ‘now please go out in numbers and buy the decoders’,” he explained, adding that there are still parts of the country which do not have a television signal or digital signal at the moment.
Until the NBC can roll-out the digital signal countrywide, it is not intending on spending a lot of money on raising awareness of DTT at the level that is required.
“However, as it is, by word of mouth people know that the digital decoders are available, and most people have gone out to buy it,” he noted.
He said only 49 per cent of the population is currently covered by digital television, while the public broadcaster’s intention is to have 69 per cent of the population covered by the end of this calendar year.
Aochamub said the digitisation process is well on track, and the broadcaster will achieve the aimed coverage before December this year.
The International Telecommunications’ Union (ITU) has set a deadline for the migration from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television as June 2015.
“By 2015, 80 per cent of the population should have a digital television signal, that is the intention. We have already in the last fortnight begun to work on looking at an alternative solution that complements terrestrial coverage to ensure that 100 per cent of the population has a signal,” he stated.
Aochamub furthermore indicated that satellites would have to be used in this instance, adding that the public broadcaster is at an advanced stage in looking at satellites as an option to complement what it is doing on the terrestrial space.
“This is an expensive way of giving access. If we had it any other way, we would have immediately gone with the satellite option, and 100 per cent of the population would have had a television signal much faster,” the NBC Director-General indicated.