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Digitisation in metros put off till Oct 31

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

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Residents in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai will get four months more to shift to a digital set-top box from the present cable TV system. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has postponed the implementation of compulsory digitisation in these metros till October 31.

A statement issued by the Government said, “Keeping in view public interest and after intensive and extensive consultations, as well as written commitments from all the stakeholders for fully implementing the regulations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to modify the June 30 deadline for a complete switchover to October 31, 2012 for all four metro cities.”

The Ministry has cited various reasons for the deferment. First, regulations on tariff and interconnection were issued by TRAI only on April 30 as against the expected date of January. Then TRAI issued the Quality of Service Regulations and the Consumer Complaint Redressal Regulations only on May 14.

According to these regulations, every Broadcaster and Multi Service Operator (MSO) is required to publish its Reference Interconnect Offers (RIOs) within 30 days of issue of the regulation. Another 30 days are required for negotiations between broadcasters and MSOs. Thereafter, various parties arrive at agreements which enable the consumers to have a clear indication of the terms and conditions for installing set-top boxes and the prices of channels on an a-la-carte as well as on a bouquet basis.

The second order of TRAI of May 14 has mandated that every MSO or its linked cable operator put in place a Consumer Complaint Redressal System consisting of a complaint centre with toll free consumer care number, Web-based complaint monitoring system as well as appoint or designate one or more nodal officers and publish consumer’s charter for DAS.

The Ministry has accepted that both the TRAI orders have not yet been substantially implemented. As a result of this, the installation of set-top boxes has not picked up necessary pace for the completion of the process of digitisation by June 30.

The Ministry has also said that it will closely monitor the process of digitisation over the next four months. It will issue warning letters and take actions against those going slow on their written commitments.

> shishir.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on June 20, 2012

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