Regulators

Government notifies new dates of phase III and phase IV of DAS

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NEW DELHI: The Government has finally issued the notification postponing the dates of phase III and phase IV of implementation of digital addressable system (DAS) to December 2015 and December 2016 respectively.

Indiantelevision.com was the first to break the news about the postponement of the dates for DAS phase III and IV. Speaking to indiantelevision.com I&B secretary Bimal Julka had confirmed that ‘the government had decided to delay the digitisation deadline by a full year in order to give all those involved enough opportunity to overcome all the unseen hurdles that had come up after the UPA government mandated  DAS and the various analogue sunset dates.’

The notification says that the change has been done ‘on being satisfied to do so in public interest’.

The DAS notification has been issued by way of amendment to the notification issued on 11 November 2011 which had made it “obligatory for every cable operator to transmit or re-transmit programmes of any channel in encrypted form through digital addressable system.”

Although the Government had announced its decision to postpone DAS in phase III and phase IV to encourage greater indigenisation of set top boxes, no action could be taken until issuance of the notification.

Until now, the deadline for phase III was September 2014 and for phase IV December 2014.

In the first two phases of digitisation, which included cable TV households in the four metros and other major cities, most of the STBs that were installed had been imported from other countries.

After he took over as Information and Broadcasting Minister, one of the major areas of focus of Prakash Javadekar has been indigenisation of STBs and Ministry sources said the new dates are in keeping with inputs supplied to the Minister in this connection.

The ministry has made efforts to get STBs declared as Telecommunication Network Equipment which will enable domestic manufacturers to get exempted from certain taxes, an official said.

Nearly 110 million STBs are required to be installed in cable TV households in the remaining two phases of digitisation and the extended deadline will ensure that the domestic manufacturers prepare themselves and meet this demand, officials said.

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