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Prasar Bharati to give free DTH STBs in Naxal-hit areas

MUMBAI: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati will likely distribute around 10 lakh direct- to-home (DTH) set-top boxes free in Naxal-hit areas of the country.

The purpose is to reach out to people in the “media dark” region, which is affected by Left-wing extremism.

Prasar Bharati runs Freedish, a subscription-free DTH service which has a base of over 22 million customers. The customers of Freedish will, however, have to buy a dish antenna and a set-top box.

In case of the Naxal-hit areas, Prasar Bharati is planning to distribute the STBs free. This will help people in the area to connect with the different development schemes of the government.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu recently said that the Centre would distribute 10,000 free DTH STBs in remote and tribal areas of Chhattisgarh.
Addressing an event in Raipur, he said that such an initiative would enable people in remote and tribal areas of Naxal-affected states to connect with various development schemes of the government.

The initiative will enable people in these areas to watch about 100 television channels free of cost.

Besides a dedicated DD channel for Chhattisgarh, Naidu had also stated that a high-power transmitter would be commissioned in Jagdalpur (Bastar district headquarter) which would beam signal of AIR Jagdalpur to a radius of 200 km.