Make sure minimum inconvenience caused to subscribers: Govt to MSOs

Twelve days after the deadline for the second phase of digitisation drive ended, the government Friday said it had asked multi-system operators not to cause "inconvenience" to viewers, indicating that it may not enforce total black-outs in areas where set top boxes could not be accessed.

Updated: Apr 12, 2013, 21:11 PM IST

New Delhi: Twelve days after the deadline for the second phase of digitisation drive ended, the government Friday said it had asked multi-system operators not to cause "inconvenience" to viewers, indicating that it may not enforce total black-outs in areas where set top boxes could not be accessed.

In a statement, the Information and Broadcasting ministry said the objective of the entire exercise is to "implement the process in a seamless, sustained yet sensitive manner that causes the least amount of disruption" to the consumer.

"Further, the ministry has advised MSOs (multi-system operators) to exercise utmost caution so that least amount of inconvenience is caused to subscribers/consumers. Wherever necessary the process has been implemented in a circumspect way so as to ensure that consumers can get access to STBs," it said.

The deadline for the phase II of digitisation process had ended on the midnight of March 31 but nearly 25 percent of the households are yet to be digitised.

The ministry said as per the latest data 85 percent of digitisation has been achieved in the phase II cities and added that out of the total 38, 15 cities had achieved nearly 100 percent digitisation.

In 24 cities, more than 75 percent digitisation was achieved and only four cities were below the 50 percent mark, it said, adding against a target of 160 lakh STBs, 136 lakh units have already been installed. Of these, 91.5 lakh are cable TV STBs while DTH operators installed 44.5 lakhs STBs.

The ministry said that I&B Minister Manish Tewari has been reviewing the progress continuously keeping consumer interest uppermost in mind.

It said that the process of digitisation, however, in other cities is in full swing. MSOs have reported that there is huge demand for STBs which is being met by increased supply of STBs by air lifting of STBs.

PTI