By Emmanuel Elebeke & Favour Ulebor
It appears that the much publicised Digital Switch Over for Abuja residents is inconclusive. The problem started after subscribers were unable to activate some of the Set-Top- boxes. Some of the subscribers have complained about their inability to successfully activate most of the Set-Top-Boxes sold to them by the marketers, describing the project as huge scam by government to exploit them.
In a swift reaction, the Pinnacle Communication Ltd has absolved itself of responsibility over the hitches experienced by Abuja viewers in trying to activate their Set-Top-Boxes.
According to the media consultant to Pinnacle Communications Ltd, Abuja, Mr. Jimmy Enyeh, the NBS had taken a step to tackle the challenge. He explained that the NBC had on its Facebook page requested viewers to send a Short Messaging Service (SMS) using their decoder unique identity number to 09099966669 as part of measures to ensure that the hitches regarding the activation of the set up boxes were nip in the bud. He expressly pointed out that Pinnacle Communications was never part of the 13 licensed companies by NBC to produce Set-Top-Boxes and such should not be blamed for any failure of the boxes.
“What has been trending is the problem that trailed the activation of some of the set top boxes that were used after the hitch-free Digital Switch Over (DSO) from analogue to digital terrestrial TV broadcasting in Abuja. “It is on record that the contract to produce and supply set up boxes were awarded to about seven different companies by the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, (Pinnacle Communications not included) and these companies were saddled with the activation of the set top boxes which experienced some hiccups after the switch-on.
Pinnacle Communications is the sigal distributor in the process that culminated to DSO from analogue to digital terrestrial TV broadcasting in Abuja on account of being a major player in the setting up of the Abuja platform at the Pinnacle Broadcast Centre, Abuja.
The President while flagging of the switchover lauded the successful launch of the pilot scheme in Jos in April, which he said was a clear demonstration of the gains of digitization, stressing that the development has encouraged indigenous companies to invest in manufacturing of Set-Top-Boxes (STBs). With the manufacturing of the Set-Top-Boxes locally, it was estimated that thousands of jobs would be created for the unemployed youths and scarce foreign exchange saved for the economy. While regretting any inconvenience it might cause its viewers, Enyeh advised the viewers to be patient with the system as it would soon normalise.
Meanwhile, a director from the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Dr. Francis Idachaba has defended the hiccups on the increasing traffic on the system and promised that the current challenges would be addressed shortly.
According to him, effort were been made to decongest the system by setting up new customer care lines and provision of more lines to avail subscribers the opportunity to receive quick response to their challenges.