MIB asks authorised officers to act against cable networks transmitting analogue signals

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has issued an advisory asking authorised officers of states and Union Territories to initiate action against multi-system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs) who are transmitting analogue signals on cable TV networks in any part of the country.

The advisory, which has also been copied to chief secretaries of all states/UTs, has been issued after the MIB received complaints for carriage of analogue signals. The ministry has sent these cases to the respective authorised officers separately for taking action.

The deadline for the last phase of digital addressable system (DAS) ended on 31 March after multiple extensions since the exercise began in 2012. Earlier, the ministry had issued a circular on 30 March to ensure switch-off of analogue signals in Phase IV areas by 1 April.

As per Section 4A of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995, it is obligatory for every cable operator to transmit or re-transmit programmes of any channel in an encrypted form through DAS with effect from the date specified/notified by the ministry.

As per Section 2 of the Act, DM, SDM and CP are the authorised officers who have powers (Sec 11) to seize the equipment used for operating cable TV networks if there are violations of provisions of the Cable Act, including Sec 4A.

“Since only digital encrypted signals can now be transmitted over cable TV network in every part of the country, you are, therefore, requested to ensure that no analogue signals are transmitted by any cable operator and in the eventuality of any MSOs/cable operators having not complied with these directions/orders, you may initiate action under Sec 11 of the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, if they are still continuing to carry analogue signals, violating Sec 4A of the Cable TV Act under intimation to this Ministry,” the MIB stated.