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77% digitisation achieved, says I&B Ministry

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 10, 2012

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With about 20 days left for the deadline of the first phase of digitisation in four metros, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that 77 per cent of cable digitisation has already been achieved.

The Ministry is monitoring the progress of installation of set-top boxes by Multi System Operators (MSOs) on a daily basis.

Mumbai has achieved nearly 99 per cent digitisation, followed by Kolkata where nearly 73 per cent households have been digitised. In Delhi, digitisation has crossed 66 per cent, while in Chennai the figure is nearly 59 per cent.

MSOs and broadcasters are also collaborating for phase-wise switching off analogue television channels signals prior to the deadline to push consumers to buy a set-top box.

Since a section of cable operators raised doubts about the digitisation data, the Ministry clarified that during the initial planning stage, it was collating data supplied by MSOs.

“On perusal of the data, it was observed that there were grave discrepancies, particularly on the number of cable TV subscribers in four metro cities furnished by MSOs, as it did not present the true picture largely due to duplication of cable connections. Industry stakeholders also felt that the data projected by MSOs is on the higher side. Moreover, the data did not reflect the numbers vis-à-vis service and entertainment tax collection,” the Ministry said.

The Government is now taking Census 2011 data to get “authentic figures” relating to households and television penetration. For instance, in Mumbai it has estimated 26.65 lakh households, according to Census 2011. With an estimated 85 per cent television penetration in the city, nearly 22.74 lakh households are estimated to be television households. Of these, nearly 7.27 lakh are estimated to be DTH, based on data provided by the players. After deducting the DTH households and adding 3.09 lakh households assumed to own more than one television, the Government has estimated the total number of cable television subscribers at 18.56 lakh. Total installation of set-top boxes, as of October 9, stood at 18.67 lakh, which has led to the estimates that Mumbai has achieved 99 per cent digitisation.

It said it had used similar methodology to estimate the progress of digitisation in Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.

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Published on October 10, 2012
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