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BON Faults Moves By NCC To Sell 600MHz Spectrum Band

The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) has faulted plans by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to sell 600MHz spectrum band, specifically and legitimately allocated for broadcasting in Nigeria.

In a letter to the Director General of NBC, seen by The Guardian in Abuja, yesterday, Executive Secretary of BON, Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose, called on NBC to take necessary legal steps to ensure the spectrum is not sold until after total analogue switch-off, as prescribed by the International Telecommunication Union, and as contained in the Federal Government’s White Paper on digitisation.

He warned that more than 80 per cent of Nigerians would be denied access to television broadcasting, which serves as authentic source of accurate information and public enlightenment if the NCC eventually sells the spectrum.

The letter, titled ‘An Urgent Call to NBC to Save Television Broadcasting from Extermination,’ dated April 25, 2023, reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to an advertisement placed by the NCC, titled ‘Availability of Frequency Slots in the 600 MHz Spectrum Band’, published on March 23, 2023.

“In the said advertisement, the NCC brought notice to the general public on availability of frequency slots in 600MHz spectrum band for sale. The advertisement further stated that submission of interest closes on or before the close of business on April 28, 2023.

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“Director General, Sir, if this sale of the primary spectrum allocated to broadcasting is allowed to happen, all television stations operating on frequency 600MHz will be affected negatively.

“Those that will be affected include all DTT operators; ITS; Pinnacle; many private television stations; majority of state government-owned stations; some NTA community and state stations operating within the range of 600MHz frequency.”

“The Director General will recall that the frequency 700-800MHz, housing some states government-owned and private stations have been sold to telecom operators, a decision that has created problems that have not been resolved.”

Bamgbose also alleged that the sale of the spectrum by NCC will give foreign media maximum penetration into the nation’s broadcast space, which negative consequences can only be imagined.”

Source: Guardian

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