West Bengal Govt reiterates demand for extension of digitisation deadline

MUMBAI: Marred by unavailability of set-top boxes and the looming Durga Pooja festival, the West Bengal government has reiterated its demand of extending the deadline for digitisation of cable television.

West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firad Hakim accused the central government of pressurising the state government on the issue of digitisation and cautioned that there could be law and order problem in the state if the government sticks to digitisation deadline.

?The Centre, which put pressure on us to accept the decision on FDI in multi-brand retail trade, is now mounting pressure on us regarding the digitisation issue,? Hakim said.

According to Hakim, the state government had on 29 September written to the centre urging it to have a relook at the digitisation deadline. However, the central government is yet to respond to the letter.
?There could be law and order problem. But the Centre has not yet responded to our letter. The chief secretary will contact the Centre again on the issue,? he added.

It needs to be noted here that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee had in her rally in New Delhi termed the government anti-poor for burdening them with an unnecessary cost of set-top boxes (STBs).

The state government has been pushing for extension in deadline since many MSOs are not ready due to unavailability of STBs and the festive season when a lot of people in the city go on holiday to their native place to celebrate Durga Pooja.

It is the festive season that also has the MSOs worried since they will also face a shortfall of manpower for installing STBs.

Siti Cable Kolkata Director Suresh Sethia, however, asserted that the MSO was fully geared up for digitisation. He also said that the industry has factored in 10-15 days of crisis period post digitisation.

Sethia, though, expressed solidarity with the state government saying that it was concerned about the fallout of digitisation process in case a large number of homes go dark and the festive season when the deployment of STBs is expected to slow down.

?The state government had recently held a meeting with the MSOs and LCOs wherein we discussed the situation in Kolkata. We will get a clear picture in the next few days when the state government officials meet with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,? Sethia said.

Sethia also said that the state government needs to come up with a clear time frame when it expects to complete the digitisation process if it gets extended.

A senior executive from a leading MSO said that the state government is not willing to take any chances since it will lead to law and order problems. The official said that the state government has done its own which reveals that only 30-35 per cent of homes have been digitised.

This is a far cry from what the MIB recently stated that 73 per cent homes in Kolkata have been digitised.

?The set-top boxes are not available since there is problem of delivery from China. Many MSOs have booked STBs but are waiting for 2-3 months for the delivery. The government should have created domestic manufacturing units for supply of STBs to avoid this situation,? the executive said.

He also said that at least 50 per cent of people in the city go out on holidays which will mean that a lot of homes will remain locked. There would also be a shortage of manpower during Durga Puja due to exodus of workers to their hometowns.

Latest Reads
Livestreaming App SWOO sees momentum in India; Launches Trivia Format in India

SWOO, a leading global livestreaming platform established in Middle East, today announced the launch of its SWOO TRIVIA SHOW ? a celebrity hosted live video streaming game show for Indians. SWOO is a user friendly, engaging and feature-rich live broadcasting app available across Android/ iOS/ Web...

Technology Software Applications
TiVo exits STB business

MUMBAI: TiVo is exiting the manufacturing, sales and distribution of set-top boxes to a yet-undisclosed third party, the company has said.

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
IET India IoT Panel joins hands with exhibitions india group for the 3rd edition of IoT india congress

IoT India Congress is India?s Platform of Platforms for the Internet of Things conceptualized by IET India IoT Panel, a think tank constituted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) India. The 3rd edition of IoT India Congress will be hosted in collaboration with India?s leading...

Technology Software Firmware
Tata Elxsi's Automation suite adopted by pan-European Media and Telecommunications Company

Tata Elxsi, a global design and technology services company, announced the licensing of its integrated test automation and monitoring suite ?FalconEye? to a pan-European media and telecommunications company for OTT automation and improving streaming performance.

Technology Software Firmware
Verimatrix recognized for contributions to latin american Pay-TV market with PRODU award win at NAB Show

LAS VEGAS: Verimatrix, a specialist in securing and enhancing revenue for network-connected devices and services, has received the PRODU Award for Best Pay-TV Technology Contribution on behalf of its MultiRights? OTT solution. MultiRights helps service providers effectively navigate the modern OTT...

Technology Software Firmware
Amagi debuts machine-learning powered content-preparation suite

Amagi, a cloud-based technology provider for media processing, has launched Tornado, a machine learning-based content preparation service that enables TV networks and content owners to scale their operations and accelerate broadcast workflows.

Technology Hardware Components
Sharp and TiVo extend interactive program guide deal to power content Discovery across entertainment devices

MUMBAI: TiVo Corporation (NASDAQ: TIVO), a global leader in entertainment technology and audience insights, today announced that Sharp Corporation will further utilize TiVo?s G-Guide HTML across Sharp 4K smart TVs and Ultra HD Blu-ray recorders in Japan, TiVo?s G-Guide xD app and remote schedule...

Technology Hardware Components
HARMAN announces Priyanka Chopra as global brand ambassador

HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, today announced that actress, singer, producer and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra has been named a global brand ambassador for the...

Technology Hardware Components
Etere HSM expands interoperability with Grass Valley

Etere HSM features an integration with Grass Valley that improves interoperability, streamlines connectivity, enables faster content processing and includes deep archive capabilities. Etere introduces a new integration layer between Etere Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) and Grass Valley...

Technology Hardware Components

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories