Cable TV Digitisation deadline ends in 38 cities

Cable TV Digitisation deadline ends in 38 cities New Delhi: With approximately 70 to 75 percent seeding of STBs achieved on an average in areas chosen under the second phase of digitisation drive, analogue cable signals would be switched off in over 30 cities from Monday onwards.

Officials in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said digitisation would be implemented in these cities barring Bangalore and four towns in Gujarat where the deadline was being extended following court orders.

The UP government had on Saturday written to the Ministry seeking extension of digitisation deadline.

"Though in some cities there is still a requirement of 30 percent installation of set-top boxes (STBs), we are however confident that in the coming days the required effort will be made," a senior official said.

The March 31 Phase II digitisation deadline was meant for 38 cities across fourteen states in the country.

These cities are Agra, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Howrah, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kalyan-Dombivli, Kanpur, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Meerut, Mysore, Nagpur, Nasik, Navi Mumbai, Patna, Pimpri- Chinchwad, Pune, Rajkot, Ranchi, Sholapur, Srinagar, Surat, Thane, Vadodara, Varanasi and Visakhapatnam.

According to the I&B Ministry's recent data, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Allahabad have achieved nearly 100 percent digitisation while over 75 percent digitisation had been achieved in Jodhpur, Thane, Aurangabad, Jaipur, Pune, Faridabad, Nashik, and Ghaziabad.

While in some cities installation of STBs was less than desired, official sources said they expected the figure to improve as it was observed during the first phase of digitisation.

Concerns relating to overpricing of STBs and also receipts not being provided to customers in certain cases were also expressed, they said.

Apart from the I&B ministry, the Broadcasting industry had also keenly participated in the digitisation process.

The Indian Broadcasters' Federation (IBF) had earlier declared that after the implementation of digitisation, they would switch off analogue signals in the selected cities.

Following the implementation of the second phase of digitisation, the I&B Ministry would now focus on the third phase.

The third phase of digitisation has to be implemented in all other urban areas (municipal corporations/ municipalities) except cities or towns or areas included in the Phase I and II by September 30 next year.

Under Phase IV, the digitisation process will cover rest of the country by end of next year.

PTI