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MIB claims 55% digitisation target achieved in Phase II cities

Cable TV in 38 cities in Phase II are slated to switch to digital by March 31, 2013 

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 5, 2013

A recent review by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has shown that over 55 per cent digitisation has been achieved in 38 cities, set for digitisation by March 31, 2013. The MIB has been constantly monitoring the preparedness for the implementation of digital addressable cable TV system in 38 cities of Phase II. Cable TV in these cities will undergo digital transition by March 31, 2013.

As per the data received from DTH operators and MSOs as on March 22, 2013, a total of 87.7 lakh set-top boxes (STBs) have already been installed in Phase II cities against the target of 1.6 crore, registering an achievement of 55 per cent digitisation. Out of a total of 87.7 lakh, DTH connections accounted for 40.7 lakh, while cable STBs accounted for 47 lakh. The ministry has set up a Task Force exclusively for Phase II cities to oversee and monitor the digitisation process. A public awareness committee has also been constituted in the ministry for spearheading awareness campaign in Phase II. As part of this initiative, all television channels have started to run a scroll, informing consumers about the deadline for cable TV digitisation. All India Radio has also started broadcasting radio jingles on its national and regional networks for creating public awareness. Several other initiatives like SMS campaign, video spots and print ads are on the anvil.

State governments/Union Territories have already nominated nodal officers in these 38 cities. MIB had recently conducted a workshop for them. It has been planned to organise a second workshop shortly to take stock of preparedness in Phase II cities. A regional workshop was also held recently in Bangalore to sensitise local MSOs, cable operators and other stakeholders. The ministry had set up a Control Room during Phase I, which has continued to function to address the queries of consumers, cable operators and others. The Control Room which also has a toll-free number has been receiving a number of calls from consumers in Phase II cities. In order to facilitate cable TV digitisation in these 38 cities, the ministry has already issued provisional registration to 30 independent MSOs to operate in Phase II cities. This would enable these MSOs to operate in their respective cities to provide digital cable TV services.

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