Thursday, 17 December 2015

I&B Ministry sticks to December 31 deadline for Phase III

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting held a meeting of the Task Force on 11th Dec 2015 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi in the run up to the cut-off date of 31st Dec 2015 for Phase III of cable TV Digitisation. In the morning of the same day, a meeting was held with the Multi System Operators (MSOs) also which was attended by over 120 MSOs from all over the country. 
Members of the Task Force were informed by the Ministry that a public awareness campaign is being carried by all stakeholders; multilingual Toll Free Helpline and 12 Regional Units are operational; the list of urban areas, to be covered in Phase III, has been updated for 24 States & Union Territories as per comments from State/UT Govts; and that engineers from AIR & DDn are being deployed to inspect the technical set ups of the MSOs. 
In response to the concerns raised by some of the stakeholders about delay in signing of interconnection agreements between Broadcasters and some MSOs, it was decided that these MSOs may furnish the details of pending cases to TRAI by 15th Dec 2015 for holding immediate meeting with Broadcasters. Status of digitisation and stock & supply position of STBs were also reviewed and all stakeholders were requested to ensure that seeding of STBs is completed in Phase III areas by 31st Dec 2015 so that consumers don’t face any difficulty due to stoppage of analogue signals. Broadcasters were advised to increase the frequency of publicity on cable TV digitisation and to ensure that it is carried by all the approved TV channels. 
Earlier in the meeting with MSOs, it was emphasized by the officials of the Ministry that MSOs must carry public awareness campaign on cable TV Digitisation on their local channels and by distribution of leaflets, holding meetings and putting kiosks etc. A demo of the MIS system, which has been deployed to collect seeding data of STBs online from all operators, was also made. MSOs that have not yet started feeding the seeding data in MIS were advised to start immediately and update it regularly. 
MSOs were also informed that Broadcasters have been advised to ensure that after cutoff date of 31st Dec 2015 signals may not be made available to those MSOs who have not got registration from the Ministry and who don’t provide digital encrypted signals in Phase III areas. It was informed that multilingual Toll Free Telephone Number 1-800-180-4343 to answer queries of stakeholders, including consumers, for seamless transition to digitisation is already operational and they were advised to publicize it.


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