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I&B ministry rejigs DAS sunset date to 31 Dec, 2014

MUMBAI: The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry has further revised the sunset date for analogue cable TV switch-off across the country as part of its final views on timeline for implementation of DAS in India.

In response to the revised time frame recommended by Telecom Regularity Authority of India (TRAI) on 22 February 2011, the ministry has suggested that the sunset date for implementing DAS should be 31 December 2014.

This is in contrast to the recommendation given by TRAI of keeping 31 December 2013 as the deadline for mandatory switchover to digital cable across the country.

For Phase I covering the four metro cities of Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, the ministry has revised the deadline to 31 March 2012 as opposed to 31 December 2011 recommended by TRAI.

Similarly for Phase II, the ministry has pushed DAS deadline to 31 March 2013 as opposed to TRAI’s recommendation of keeping the sunset date at 31 December 2012. DAS Phase II will cover 38 cities with million plus population spread across 15 states.

Under the rejigged schedule, cable TV subscribers in urban agglomerations covered in DAS Phase III will have to migrate to digital cable by 30 September 2014. TRAI had suggested 31 December 2013 as deadline for Phase III.

Finally, the Phase IV areas covering rest of India will have to mandatorily switch to digital cable only by 31 December 2014.

The ministry said it has arrived at the time schedule after eliciting views of concerned industry associations. The revised timetable for implementing DAS is subject to approval of the cabinet.

While expressing its agreement with all other recommendations made by TRAI and also the staggered approach for implementation of full digitalisation, the ministry had on 28 January 2011 proposed a revised timeline with sunset date on 31 March 2015.

In response to this, TRAI vide its letter dated 22.02.2011 had recommended a slightly rejigged time schedule without changing its earlier position with regard to the sunset date for switching over to digital system.

Phase
Area Suggested by TRAI
Time Frame initially recommended by TRAI dated 5.8.2010
Time frame proposed by the Ministry
dated 28.1.2011
Revised time frame recommended by TRAI dated
22.2.2011
Ministry’s final views on the time frame for digitalisation
Phase-IFour Metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai31st Mar., 201131st Mar., 201231st Dec., 201131st March, 2012
Phase-IICities with a population more than one million31st Dec., 201131st Mar., 201331st Dec., 201231st March, 2013
Phase-IIIAll urban areas (Municipal Corp./ Municipalities )31st Dec., 201230th Nov., 201431st Dec., 201330th September, 2014
Phase-IVRest of India31st Dec., 201331st Mar., 201531st Dec., 201331st December, 2014