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I&B Minister for indigenous STBs, portability

Minister addresses first meeting of the Task Force for Cable TV Digitization (Phase III and Phase IV) 

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | October 9, 2014

Task-Force-Meet

The Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar has said that the Digitization process was an integral component of the Digital India initiative of the Prime Minister. The Cable TV Digitization process aimed at providing the consumer with greater choices and affordable & qualitative options. The overall objective was to be sensitive to the needs and choice of the consumer. The choice of the consumer was paramount in defining the inputs, strategies and roadmap for the remaining phases of the digitization process. The Minister stated this while addressing the first meeting of the Task Force set up for Cable TV Digitization (Phase III and Phase IV) in New Delhi yesterday.

Elaborating further, Javadekar called upon the manufacturers to innovate and explore new technologies for addressing the different consumer tastes and needs. The Minister added that in the next phase of digitization, the price mechanism offered to the consumer would be a key determinant of the process. This was due to the digitization process being extended to rural areas. As a consequence, it was mandatory for all stakeholders to sensitize the consumers on the benefits of the process in view of the rural outreach of the programme.

Regarding the indigenization of the Set Top Boxes, the Minister said that the concerns of the industry had been taken up with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Communications & IT and accordingly Set Top Boxes were declared as part of “telecommunication network.” After these steps, ‘C form’ issue for the industry had been resolved. The Minister called upon the concerned stakeholders to take advantage of this initiative undertaken by the Government.

During the course of his address the Minister also mentioned that the Task Force ought to identify timelines for implementation so as to ensure the timely completion of the Phase III and Phase IV. All issues concerning the key stakeholders needed to be debated at length so as to ensure the mainstreaming of the process with the existing policy. The need of portability of set top boxes so as to provide the option of interoperability to the consumers was an issue that could be looked into by the concerned stakeholders. Every meeting of the Task Force was critical as it identified critical inputs so as to ensure the effective implementation of the timelines and processes.

Earlier speaking on the occasion, Secretary, I&B Bimal Julka stated that the Task Force provided an important platform to debate and overview issues related to the digitization implementation. It also provided an opportunity to understand the concern of stakeholders. The experience of such meetings during the first and second phase of implementation of the programme had been extremely useful in streamlining the roadmap for effective implementation.

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