Cable TV

DAS deadline extension ruled out, govt claims 66% seeding done

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NEW DELHI: The Government reiterated today that there was no question of extension of the final phase of digital addressable systems for cable television in the country.

Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore told the Parliament that Phase I, II & III of the Cable TV Digitisation have been completed successfully except in Tamil Nadu state, which is pending due to court cases.

The fihal phase covering the Rest of India had originally been fixed for 31 December 2014 and later modified to 31 December 2016. It had now been further modified to 31 March 2017 on disposal of court cases.

At the outset, he said Cable TV digitisation in the country is being implemented in four phases according to a Ministry notification of 11 November 2011 which had laid down the phase wise timelines which were subsequently amended.

Phase I covering the Metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai was originally slated for 30 June 2012 and modified to 31 October 2012. The second phase covering 38 cities (with population more than one million) was slated for 31 March 2013.

The third Phase was to cover all other urban areas (Municipal Corporations/ Municipalities) and was originally slated for 30 September 2014 and modified to 31 December 2015.

He said this cut-off date could not be achieved due to stay/extension granted by some Courts. On the disposal of the court cases in December 2016 and in order to provide time for transition of those subscribers who had not switched to digital mode of transmission, the Ministry allowed time upto 31 January 2017.

For Phases I and II 100% requirement of set top boxes has been met except in Tamil Nadu. For Phase III & IV, the Ministry had developed a MIS online software for collection of seeding status of STBs. Since the area of Phase III & IV overlap, the combined state wise seeding progress for these two phases is 66.79 per cent minus Tamil Nadu.

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