Govt rules out relaxation in digitisation deadline in 4 metros

NEW DELHI: Ruling out any further shift in digitisation deadline, the Government has told local cable operators (LCOs) that there will be no relaxation in the sunset date for shutting off analogue and switching on to digital access systems by 1 November 2012 in the four metros.

Information and Broadcasting Ministry Joint Secretary (Broadcasting) Supriya Sahu also told the LCOs that all issues that they still had should be sorted out with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Sahu said that arrangements had been made for seeding a sufficient number of digital set top boxes in the metros, and said there was no reason for LCOs to protest the digitisation mandate.

She also said that problems related to registration in local post offices could be sorted out locally and need not be brought to the Ministry. The LCOs were complaining that registration was being given for only up to one year and there was no guarantee that it would be extended.

Later in a meeting with Trai chairman Dr Khuller, the LCOs were told there could be no change of Rs 45 in the share of the LCOs in the subscriber fee as this had been cleared by Parliament.

The cable operators who had come from different parts of the country and were led by A S Kohli of Delhi sought to plead with Trai that the rate could be not be lower than the one they were already getting, and also reiterated that the entire work of maintenance and bill collection was being done by them and not the multi-system operators.

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