55% TV digitisation target achieved in India's Phase II cities

Friday, March 1st, 2013
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A recent review by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has shown that over 55% digitisation target has been achieved in 38 cities, set for digitisation by March 31st 2013.

The Ministry has been constantly monitoring the preparedness for the implementation of digital addressable cable TV system in 38 cities of Phase-II. The Cable TV in these cities will undergo digital transition by 31.03.2013. As per the data received from the DTH operators and the MSOs, as on 22.02.2013, a total of 8.77 million Set Top Boxes (STBs) have already been installed in Phase-II cities against the target of 16 million, registering an achievement of 55% digitisation. Out of a total of 8.77 million, DTH connections accounted for 4.07 million, whereas cable STBs accounted for 4.70 million.

The Ministry has set up a Task Force exclusively for Phase-II cities to oversee and monitor the digitisation process in Phase-II. A public awareness Committee has also been constituted in the Ministry for spearheading awareness campaign in Phase-II. As part of the awareness initiative, all television channels have started to run a scroll, informing consumers about the deadline for cable TV digitization. All India Radio has also started broadcasting of the radio jingles on its National and regional networks for creating public awareness. Several other initiatives like SMS campaign, video spots and print advertisements etc. are on the anvil. The State Governments/UTs have already nominated nodal officers in 38 cities of Phase-II. Ministry had recently conducted a workshop for them. It has been planned to organize a second workshop shortly to take stock of preparedness in Phase II cities. A regional workshop was also held recently at Bangalore to sensitize local MSOs, Cable operators and other stake holders.

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 of Phase-II cities.

In order to facilitate cable TV digitisation in 38 cities of Phase-II, 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.