Cable TV

MSOs urged to buy domestic set top boxes as there is no shortage

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NEW DELHI: Reiterating that there was no scarcity of digitally addressable set top boxes and the cut-off date of the final phase was fast approaching, Information and Broadcasting Additional Secretary Jayashree Mukherjee has urged multi system and local cable operators to place orders with domestic manufacturers.

She has also also said that the broadcasters should develop their own AV Spots and start using these by 30 Septemberr 2016 and start a scroll on their channels to mount publicity campaign about digital addressable system.

Chairing the 17th meeting of the DAS Task Force, Mukherjee agreed with a suggestion that an advisory may be issued by the Ministry to all MSOs to carry public awareness campaign on their local channels also.

She said considering that the cut-off date of 31 December 2016 was fast approaching, the State Nodal Officers were requested to take help of the Assistant project Directors of Regional Units to implement complete digitization in their States and carry out regular monitoring of the progress at the State as well as District level, preferably on weekly basis.

She said the schedule of the meeting planned at State level may be sent to the Ministry so that if required, the Ministry’s representative can also be present in some of these meetings.

She also felt that the Ministry should regularly release Press Notes/Press Releases on the status of Cable TV Digitization.

At the meeting held on 31 August 2016, Mukherjee, representatives of Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal gave details of the progress of implementation of digitization in phase lll and measures being undertaken by them to implement the last phase of digitization in their respective States.

Almost all of them said they were holding regular meetings to monitor the progress and are trying to resolve the issues with stakeholders in order to achieve the target of compfete digitization by the cut-off date.

However, the Chairperson observed that more action was required to be taken by the Nodal Officers of UP, Bihar and Karnataka.

Considering that there were around 6000 MSOs operating in the country but only about 1300 had applied for MSO registration to the Ministry, the broadcasters were requested to ask the MSOs with whom they have interconnect agreements but who have not applied for MSO registration wherher they were interested to work as MSO in the DAS notified area failing which they would not be able to act as MSO after the cut-off date.

The representative of Sony mentioned that they have interconnect agreements with about 1500 MSOs,out of which 1101 have not applied to the Ministry for MSO registration. He confirmed that these MSOs have been advised to apply for MSO registration if they want to continue as MSO in DAS notified areas.

The representative of Star also mentioned that they have issued similar letters to their MSOs who have not taken MSO registration from the Ministry.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation representative was requested to ensure that the similar action is taken by all other members of the IBF and also to supply the list with their e-mail addresses, including those from Sony, to the Ministry so that the Ministry can also write to them.

The representative of CEAMA said they are not getting sufficient orders of STBs from the big players, though they have enough stock of STBs.

Joint Secretary (Broadcasting) Sanjay Murthy said an issue of setting up of grievance redressal mechanism at national level for MSOs, LCOs and consumers was discussed with the representatives of broadcasters a few days back. He wanted to know the status of setting up of such a system. The representative of IBF said it was working on it and would submit a proposed plan by 10 September 2016 to the Ministry.

While reviewing the progress of the court cases pending in Delhi High Court with regard to cut off date of phase lll digitization, the representative of IBF said it had filed an application in the Hon'ble Delhi High Court to implead them in these cases.

Regarding the public awareness campaign, the representative of the IBF said its members have already started the public campaign using 2 AV Spots provided by the Ministry. He also said scrolls are being planned by their members. The Chairperson emphasized the need for IBF members to develop their own AV Spots as had been done on earlier occasions.

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