Technology

Digitisation in four metros put off by 3 months

NEW DELHI: Caught in its own mandate of giving a notice of at least six months to cable operators and multi-system operators for digitisation, the Government has put off the sunset date for the first phase to 30 June 2012 in place of March 2012 announced earlier.


This has been set out in a notification issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry listing out the specific cities and areas and the deadlines by which it would be ‘obligatory‘ for the cable operators to transmit or re-transmit in encrypted form all channels through a digital addressable system.


Under the Ordinance promulgated earlier this month, the Government had laid down that the six months notice will be given to the cable TV operators to enable them to install the necessary equipment for transmitting encrypted channels through a digital addressable system, in keeping with the deadlines set for this purpose for various states and cities. 
 
The Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Amendment Ordinance 2011, which is an amendment of the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1995, is aimed at putting in place the infrastructure to meet the deadlines set by the Government for digitisation of cable TV networks.


The Government has earlier announced a timetable for complete digitisation of cable television in the four metros by 31 March, 2012. The target date for completely digitising cable sector in cities with population of more than one million was 30 March 2013, all urban areas by 30 September 2014, and the whole country by 31 December 2014.


This will also mean an end to the analogue era and customers of cable networks must have a digital addressable set-top-box irrespective of whether they wish to receive free-to-air or encrypted (pay) channels.


For the second phase, the 38 specific cities and areas which have been listed in the notification are - Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Kanpur, Jaipur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Patna, Indore, Bhopal, Thane, Ludhiana, Agra, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik, Vadodara, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Rajkot, meerut, Kalyan-Dombivali, Varanasi, amrtisar, Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad, Solapur, Allahabad, Jabalpur, Srinagar, Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Howrah, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Maysore and Jodhpur.


Laying down rules for registering cable operators, the Ordinance says new registration will not be given to any cable operator who fails to transmit or retransmit encrypted TV signals through a digital addressable system from the date notified for the purpose for the area in which he is operating.


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