The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), on Thursday said the June deadline to switch over from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting would no longer be feasible.
The Director General of the Commission, Mr Emeka Mba, who made this known during interactive session with newsmen in Abuja, said the major constraint to the realisation of the plan was lack of finance.
Mba said the commission would have to look for alternative source of fund to be able to meet up.
“I hope the commission will be able to switch over from analogue to digital in the next 18 months. With the pace the commission is going, by Dec. 2016, we should be where we want to be”, he said.
He, however, expressed confidence that digitisation of the nation’s broadcasting industry would bring about tremendous development to the nation.
Mba said that 12 community radio broadcast stations had been approved, two in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
The commission began a pilot digital switch over project in Jos in 2014.
The DG said “all the television stations we have today are analogue.
“Imagine one NTA channel that we are watching in Abuja uses eight mega bytes. But with digital broadcast, you can actually switch up to twenty channels into that one space that NTA is occupying today.
“So, it is not just a question of quantity but also quality, crisp signals, sharper pictures, and opportunity to do digital surround sound among other applications.
“Today, if you are watching standard definition channels in analogue, you might not be able to press a button on your TV set to know what will come next.
“But with digital, you could actually know what will come next, especially if you do not want your children to watch such programme later at night, you could actually block it.”
He said with digitisation, Nigerians may not be able to receive the signals they were receiving in the past.
This, he said, could only be possible with the help of a Set-Top box connected to the television set.