New Delhi, January 25: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting today warned that cable TV users in Phase III under urban areas will have no access to cable TV after 31st January without set-top boxes. It advised cable subscribers to use set-top boxes in Phase-III urban area. Phase-III consists of 630 districts across 34 states and union territories including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar.
The Ministry said that “failing which they would not be able to watch TV services through Cable TV Networks after 31 January, 2017, in a statement. It urged all cable subscribers acquire set top boxes from cable operators in their areas immediately.
The Cable Television Networks Amendment Act, asserted to switch over the existing analog signals into digital addressable system in four phases. The digital switchover has completed in Phase I AND Phase II where as Phase III and Phase IV was set to get complete by December 2016. Government extended the deadline for Phase III by one month and for Phase IV by three months to March 2017.
The Ministry issued instructions to all the broadcasters to ensure no analog signals are transmitted over the cable networks in Phase III urban areas after 31st January. It said that “authorized officers under section 11 of the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act can seize the equipment of the MSOs/cable operators, if they continue to carry analog signals in phase III urban areas after 31st January, 2017,”
Anil Malhotra, chief of Siti Networks said that “It is a welcome decision. The process is almost complete in the phase III areas. There is no delay in the process.”