Cable TV

AIR/DD engineers to inspect MSO set-ups for DAS; b’casters asked to stop signals to unlicensed MSOs

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NEW DELHI: Broadcasters have been asked to ensure that signals should not be made available to those multi-system operators (MSOs), who have not received registration from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) and who do not provide digital encrypted signals in Digital Addressable System (DAS) Phase III areas from the cut off date of 31 December.

 

This was conveyed at a meeting convened by the MIB with over 120 MSOs, which was held prior to a meeting of the Task Force over the weekend for the third phase of DAS.

 

The Ministry has deployed engineers from All India Radio and Doordarshan to inspect the technical set ups of MSOs.

 

The status of digitisation and stock & supply position of set top boxes (STBs) was also reviewed and all stakeholders were requested to ensure that seeding of STBs is completed in Phase III areas by 31 December so that consumers do not face any difficulty due to stoppage of analogue signals.

 

In the 12th Task Force meeting held over the weekend presided over by its chairman and Ministry Special Secretary J S Mathur and Joint Secretary (Broadcasting) R Jaya, broadcasters were advised to increase the frequency of publicity on cable TV digitisation and to ensure that it is carried by all the approved TV channels. 

 

While a public awareness campaign is being carried by all stakeholders; the meeting was told that the multilingual Toll Free Helpline and 12 Regional Units are operational.

 

The government has updated the list of urban areas to be covered in Phase III for 24 States & Union Territories after comments from State/UT Governments.

 

In response to the concerns raised by some of the stakeholders about delay in signing of interconnection agreements between Broadcasters and some MSOs, it was decided that these MSOs may furnish the details of pending cases to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) by the middle of this month for holding immediate meeting with Broadcasters.

 

As was earlier reported by Indiantelevision.com, TRAI will hold a meeting with stakeholders on 18 December to iron out any problems in this regard.

 

In the meeting with MSOs, it was emphasised that MSOs must carry public awareness campaign on cable TV digitisation on their local channels and by distribution of leaflets, holding meetings and putting kiosks etc.

 

A demo of the MIS system, which has been deployed to collect seeding data of STBs online from all operators, was also made.

 

MSOs who have not started feeding the seeding data in MIS were advised to start immediately and update it regularly.

 

It was informed that multilingual Toll Free Telephone Number 1-800-180-4343 to answer queries of stakeholders, including consumers, for seamless transition to digitisation is already operational and they were advised to publicise it.

 

As was reported earlier, all stakeholders were told categorically that there would be no extension of the deadline for Phase III and analogue signals should be switched off from 1 January, 2016 in all urban areas of the country. The final phase covering the rest of India will be completed by 31 December, 2016.

 

TRAI had earlier asked all stakeholders to apprise it by 28 October of any problems arising out of finalising agreements amongst various stakeholders.

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