December 5, 2020

Stakeholders in the telecommunications industry are brainstorming on how to convert the unused TV channels between the active ones in the VHF and UHF spectrum, otherwise known as TV White Space, into a means of providing broadband Internet access in order to boost broadband deployment, especially in the rural areas.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami made this known on Tuesday while addressing journalist shortly after attending the industry consultations workshop on the use of television white space in Nigeria which was held at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Corporate Headquarters, Abuja.

Recall that on January 1, 2020, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in conjunction with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), developed draft Guidelines for the use of Television White Spaces (TVWS) for rural broadband connectivity in Nigeria.

Consequently, the Commission organised an Industry consultation where the draft Guidelines were presented to all Stakeholders.

Television Whitespace are typically referred to as the “buffer” channels. In the past, these buffers were placed between active TV channels to protect broadcasting interference.

It has since been researched and proven that this unused spectrum can be used to provide broadband Internet access while operating harmoniously with surrounding TV channels.

The minister who reiterated the importance of Broadband Penetration in promoting a digital economy for a digital Nigeria, stated that “you cannot promote a digital economy without broadband penetration”.

He said, “The whole world today is about a Digital Economy. Adding that “The World Economic Forum predicts that over 60% of global GDP will be digitized by the year 2022”.

Dr Pantami maintained that NCC under his supervision has the Mandate to improve broadband penetration in Nigeria.

Present at the gathering includes individuals from both the public and private sectors, representative of state governments, among others.

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