Four cities close to full digitisation as second phase deadline nears

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 25, 2013

Certain regions are still facing challenges, such as Srinagar, where there is little infrastructure available and Coimbatore where Arasu, the Tamil Nadu Government-owned TV channel, has strong presence and could face similar problems as Chennai.

With the second phase of digitisation nearing its deadline of March 31, four cities — Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Amritsar and Chandigarh —have achieved almost complete digitisation, according to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

As per last week’s data available with the I&B Ministry, seven additional cities have achieved 90 per cent digitisation and another nine cities have achieved 80 per cent digitisation, while 13 towns have touched the 75 per cent digitisation mark.

According to last week’s estimates, over 65 per cent digitisation has been achieved overall across 38 cities. The Ministry had estimated that about 16 million set-top boxes need to be installed, out of which about 11 million have been installed.

I&B Secretary Uday Kumar Varma said, “The important thing is that television viewers have accepted digitisation.” He said to boost the process, the Ministry had also issued provisional licenses to a large number of regional multi system operators (MSOs) for them to be able to be part of the digitisation drive. “Technical committees will be on the field to ensure these cities go digital by the stipulated deadline,” he said.

The Ministry is also in the process of setting up a Web-based central monitoring system to ensure that MSOs transmit digital encrypted signals.

Meanwhile, certain regions are still facing challenges, such as Srinagar, where there is little infrastructure available; Visakhapatnam, where the presence of MSOs is low and Coimbatore where Arasu, the Tamil Nadu Government-owned TV channel, has strong presence and could face similar problems as Chennai.

The digitisation drive is being pushed through aggressive consumer awareness campaigns not only by the Ministry but also television channels which are members of Indian Broadcasting Foundation.


Published on March 25, 2013

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