DAS Phase II: Analogue signals switched-off in 5 states

NEW DELHI: Analogue signals have been completely switched-off in five states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, according to information provided by nodal officers to the Information & Broadcasting (I&B) ministry.

The ministry said it is in constant touch with the Nodal Officers and MSOs to ensure that the cities in remaining states also speed up the process of digitisation.

However, analogue signal continues un-interrupted in the eight cities of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat that are covered under DAS Phase II as the respective High Courts have passed orders against switching off analogue signals.

In addition, stay continues in Chennai which was part of the DAS Phase I covering four metros which also included Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

Sharing the latest figures about DAS implementation in 38 cities covered under Phase II, the ministry claims that over 85 per cent digitisation have been achieved so far.

Out of the 38 cities, fifteen cities have achieved nearly 100 per cent digitisation, 24 cities in all have achieved more than 75 per cent digitisation, and 34 cities have achieved more than 50 per cent digitisation.

The review by I&B ministry also reveals that as against a target of 16 million STBs, 13.6 million have already been installed by the MSOs and DTH operators.

Of these, the total number of installed Cable TV STBs is 9.15 million while DTH operators have installed a total of 4.45 million STBs. In the last one month alone about four million STBs have been installed in the Phase II cities.

The I&B ministry has meanwhile cautioned multi-system operators (MSOs) to implement digitisation in a ‘sensitive manner‘ so as to avoid causing inconvenience to consumers.

The ministry stated that the objective of the entire exercise is to implement the process in a seamless, sustained yet sensitive manner that causes least amount of disruption to the consumer.

Wherever necessary the process has been implemented in a circumspect way so as to ensure that consumers can get access to STBs, I&B ministry said.

Separately, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also been convening the meeting of broadcasters, MSOs and cable operators to sort out issues pertaining to agreements and service conditions.

The ministry said that digitisation would usher in a new era in broadcasting sector reforms by bringing more transparency in the subscriber base and would lead to several benefits for stakeholders including government.

It would bring in enhanced revenue by way of improved tax recovery for government, enhanced TV viewing experience due to digital picture quality and multiple choices of channels to subscribers and improved subscription revenue for broadcasters and cable industry.

The ministry has also assured cable operators that digital addressable system (DAS) will provide them an opportunity to provide competitive services to their subscribers and help them retain their business in the wake of competition from DTH and other platforms.

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