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STB seeding in DAS Phase III areas progressing well, says TRAI

MUMBAI: Even as uncertainty looms large over the industry’s preparedness to implement the third phase of digital addressable system (DAS), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has expressed satisfaction at the progress of the seeding of set-top boxes (STBs) in Phase III areas.

Without providing any data on seeding of STBs, the authority said that a good number of customers are getting the benefits of digitisation in these areas.

TRAI had held a meeting with stakeholders of the broadcasting and cable TV sector on 1 December to take stock of the situation on the ground regarding DAS implementation.

The cut-off date for DAS Phase III, which covers remaining urban areas, is 31 December 2015, after which no analogue signal transmission will be permitted.

TRAI has been taking steps to create awareness among consumers and stakeholders by holding workshops on the implementation of DAS and consumer outreach programmes.

Broadcasters, direct-to-home (DTH) companies and multi-system operators (MSOs) were asked to carry out exhaustive consumer awareness programmes on digitisation of cable TV services so that the remaining customers in the urban areas are able to install STBs before the cut-off date.

Broadcasters have been asked to send advance intimation to MSOs about non-availability of TV channels for re-transmission in analogue mode from 1 January 2016.

TRAI has advised consumers of urban areas who are still receiving cable TV services without STBs to avail and install STBs before the cut-off date in order to receive uninterrupted TV/services.

The STBs can be availed on rental/hire/purchase/outright purchase basis. The consumer also has an option to choose any of the schemes offered by the service provider.

DAS is being implemented in a phased manner across the country with the first two phases already completed. Phase III will come into force from 1 January, while the cut-off date for Phase IV is 31 December 2016.

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