MUMBAI: Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu recently wrote to the union minister of urban development, information and broadcasting, housing and urban poverty alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu seeking extension of deadline for digitalisation of Cable TV services in the state he governs.
In the letter dated 3 December, 2016, the chief minister stated: Under A.P. Fiber Grid Phase-I Project, a state-wide high speed Optical Fiber Network Infrastructure has been setup across the 13 Districts of the State leveraging the assets of the Electricity Department. A 24-Core ADSS Optical Fiber Cable has been laid for a length of around 23,000 Kms. over the electrical poles with its back-end electronic systems set up as the Points of Presence (PoPs) at 2445 identified locations. mainly electrical sub-stations. A state-wide control and command centre for this entire network has been commissioned at Visakhapatnam as a Network Operations Centre (NOC).
The services from AP Fiber Grid will be delivered by the Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Limited (APSFL) to the end-users i.e. households. offices / enterprises in partnership with the Multi System Operators (MSOs) and Local Cable Operators (LCOs) etc, the letter stated.
The partners who provide the last mile connectivity through A.P Fiber Grid by hooking to the PoPs / NOC can immensely benefit from this system as they can provide triple play services — PTV, high-speed broadband and Telecom and value added services under a single umbrella, thus enhancing the scope for revenue generation. They will convert themselves as last mile operators, the key link between the AP Fiber Grid and the end-user
(Around) 13,325 LCOs and MSOs have been registered so far with APSFL as business partners to provide last mile services. The works of AP Fiber Grid have been completed and at present the infrastructure is ready for delivering the intended Triple Play Services to the households / offices. Services are being provided successfully on a pilot/test basis to identified households/offices and the commercial Public services are planned to be launched in December 2016, Chandrababu's letter added.
The digitalisation of Cable TV services is not yet completed in Andhra Pradesh. To accelerate this process. APSFL has initiated procurement of Customer Premises Equipment Boxes (GPON basic box+ IPTV box with WiFi) for enabling expeditious spread of AP fiber triple pay services in A.P. The CPE boxes will be seeded to the households through the APSFL's last mile business partners i.e., MS0s/LCOs, the letter added.
Further, Chandrababu states, the registered MS0s/LCOs can also procure & seed the CPE boxes on their own.
It is estimated that the households under Analog cable TV services will be digitalised through AP Fiber services in the next 1 year period. The last mile operators (MS0s/LC0s) need some more time beyond 31 December, 2016, to procure and seed Digital CPE boxes under AP Fiber Grid as the technology and the business model being implemented is first-of-its kind and unique in AP.
Keeping in view the potential for Digital empowerment of citizens through AP Fiber, which enables delivery of a host of citizen-centric digital services apart from IPTV, it is essential that sufficient time window is given to spread the services under AP Fiber Grid.
Hence, taking into account the special situation in Andhra Pradesh, it is requested to extend the deadline for digitalisation of cable TV services in A.P up to 31 December, 2017 in Phase-III & Phase-IV in the interest of smooth expansion of AP Fiber services as explained above towards realising the vision of Digital India.
Necessary instructions may please be issued to various broadcasters and implementing agencies in this regard, the chief minister urges the central ministry.