The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) has kicked against the planned auction of 600 MHz spectrum band by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
BON, in a letter addressed to the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, yesterday said selling the 600 MHz would make television broadcasting in Nigeria go into extinction.
In the letter, BON’s Executive Secretary, Yemisi Bamgbose said: “ DG 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 (2) ITS (3) Pinnacle (4) many private Television stations (5) Majority of State Government owned stations (6) Some NTA Community and state stations operating within the range of 600MHz Frequency.
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The DG will recall that the Frequency 700-800MHz housing some state government-owned and private stations had been sold to telecom operators; “a decision that has created problems that have not been resolved.”
It recalled that BON had earlier in letters reference BON/G/53/Vol.5/140 dated April 14th, 2022 and Ref BON/G/53/Vol/136 dated March 31st, 2022 called NBC’s attention to this negative development.
It said, “DG Sir, it is pertinent to ask you and your commission to rise up to the occasion of your responsibility by protecting the sector which your agency is primarily created to protect.
“It is necessary to make it abundantly clear, that, the Digital Switchover which NCC might be capitalising on has not been delivered as expected.
“While BON is not unaware of all efforts put in place by NBC for many years to achieve Analogue Switch off, the desired result is still very far from remarkable achievement.
BON said it had no doubt that NBC was well aware that the decision concerning Sectoral Spectrum allocation was handled by International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
It said the decision to allow cohabitation of telecom and broadcasting on a Spectrum is yet to be determined by the World Radio Conference.
It added that the offer for sale of the broadcast spectrum at this time left much to desire.
“It is therefore very curious to ask the Nigerian Communications Commission the reason behind rushing to sell the Spectrum that is specifically and legitimately allocated for broadcasting in Nigeria.
More curious is the urgency by which the National Communications Commission is rushing to ensure the sale of the spectrum within short period of expiration of the tenure of the current administration”, it said.
It therefore said the sale of 600MHz Frequency Spectrum by the Nigerian Communications Commission would lead to sudden disappearance of majority of the television stations in Nigeria.