The Nambian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) conducted its first switch-over from analogue to digital broadcasting in the //Kharas region on Sunday.
The four areas of Bethanie, Berseba, Stampriet and the //Kharas capital Keetmanshoop and its surrounding areas became the first in the region to successful migrate from analogue to digital.
NBC’s Keetmanshoop Regional Office Chief, Cherly Coetie, indicated on Friday that the response from local residents has been amazing, as a large number turned up to buy their decoders to make sure they are not left in the dark following the switch-over.
Without providing an exact number as the process was still ongoing she noted that she didn’t expect such a huge turnout and was impressed and surprised by how positive the response of the people has been on acquiring their Digital Terrestrial Television (DDT) decoders.
She described the process as having been smooth and without any major hiccups. “It’s going very well, even people who are in arrears are paying off their TV licences and buying the decoders,” Coetie said.
She further said no major problems were encountered during the process, except for normal cases where people didn’t understand the migration and why they needed to buy the decoders, a situation, she says, was handled very well by her team as more and more people were satisfied and willing to pay their dues and buy the decoders after speaking to NBC employees.
Coetie also revealed that many people have managed to settle their TV licences account, of which some were backdated to 2006; and those who couldn’t pay it off managed to reach an agreement with the public broadcaster on how to settle the remaining amount.
She commended the //Kharas people for the impressive response, saying this would help NBC provide quality services to the Namibian people. “I’m very happy, if they pay and buy the decoders, NBC will become even better and better.”
Last month Namibia was ranked in the top three countries in SADC to meet the deadline of June 2015 set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to migrate from analogue to digital.
With the analogue switch-off it means viewers without DDT decoders will not be able to access NBC TV any more, while for those with decoders it will mean higher quality, smoother transmission, and a variety of programmes to choose from.