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FG launches TV digital switch over in Lagos

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The federal government  has officially launched the Digital Switch-Over (DSO) in Lagos State as the State went live on digital television Thursday.

It said that with the launch, analogue broadcasting would be switched off in the state the next six months. 

Speaking during the launch event in Lagos Thursday,  the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed said the event marks the beginning of the second phase of the DSO roll out.  

He said though it took the digital television plan over three years to arrive in Lagos State, from its last stop in Osun State, the train was now ready to move faster. “The DSO train has now changed from narrow gauge to standard gauge, meaning it will move faster to cover 13 states across the country this year alone in the second phase of the

Minister Mohammed assured that the digital system has come to stay. He acknowledged the power and the extensive reach of modern broadcasting, which makes it a veritable tool for national development.

He said, “the democratization of digital television in Nigeria, which is what DSO is about, fits into the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari for a digital economy in the country. Mr. President’s vision is that of national technological development driven by Nigeria’s very vibrant and creative young people; who are among the most dynamic in Africa and indeed the world.” 

He stated that the switch-on of Lagos is unique and epochal, because it marks the first time that the DSO project would be beaming 60 choice channels to television households. “This is not by accident. Lagos is Nigeria’s creative hub, hence it is important to harness the creative talents that abound in the state through this project. Also, the DSO provides us with a great platform to key into the Lagos Smart City Project, which seeks to use technology to enhance service delivery in all spheres of life. The DSO is not just about high fidelity sound and picture, it is about creating jobs, especially for our teeming youth, stimulating local content and empowering channel owners.”

While the DSO television platform, branded as FreeTV, offers its viewers about 60 digital channels, including sports, music, movies, and news, it also provides Value Added Services, such as: Enforcement & Collection of TV Licenses,  Premium PayTV channels, Push Video on Demand, Information Services and Audience Measurement.

Lai said the project will  enhance the Lagos Smart City Project while revolutionizing television viewing for the more than 5 million TV households in the state.

“In addition, a large number of the 1 million jobs to be created by the DSO project in the next three years will come from Lagos. Since FreeTV helps to provide Value Added Services, the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 LCDAs in Lagos State will be supported in the collection of Television & Radio Licenses from residents. With FreeTV’s push system for information services, the FreeTV platform can be used to broadcast information on Lagos State activities to all viewers. It will also help Advertisers in Lagos to target which programmes and channels are being watched by the audience, while Lagosians can also cash in on the Push Video-on-Demand capability of the FreeTV platform to access premium blockbuster Nollywood movies from the comfort of their homes.” 

He said the Ministry have over one million Set-Top-Boxes ready. “The good news is that the Set-Top-Boxes are locally manufactured, hence more boxes are getting set to be released by the factories located across the country adding that he is optimistic that by December 7, 2022, the Ministry will complete the switch-off of analogue broadcasting on the terrestrial television platform in Nigeria. 

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