I&B officials: Digitisation drive will accelerate further

NEW DELHI: For all those who think that there’s going to be a slowdown in cable TV digitisation. It is time to think again. All thanks to the focus of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on the preparations for the upcoming elections next year.

In fact, the teams at I&B and TRAI, which have been spearheading the drive along with TRAI representatives, has been informed by  new secretary Bimal Jhulka and TRAI chairman Rahul Khullar, to keep the foot on the accelerator pedal and if possible rev the digitisation drive even more.

Last week, I&B sources told that MSOs and other television ecosystem players are being told to start planning for phase III and phase IV of digitisation from now itself. Phase III and phase IV have been compressed into a single deadline which will end in December 2014.

“The learnings from phase I and phase II are being put into place,” says an I&B source. “We will be setting up deadlines for import of set top boxes and for rollout of the boxes. There will also be a clear game plan about which channels will be switched off to force the pace of digitisation and CAF forms in the smaller towns and rural areas. We want the transition from analogue to digital to be smoother in the next phase.”

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