4.98 cr STBs have been seeded in phase 4 of DAS: MIB

MUMBAI: Only 67% of television households have been digitised in phase 4 of digital addressable system (DAS), according to the information & broadcasting (I&B) ministry.

The ministry has developed a Management Information System (MIS) wherein all registered operators (MSOs, DTH & HITS operators) have been entering area wise seeding states of set top boxes (STBs).

As per the MIS, 4.98 crore STBs have been seeded in phase 4 areas, which comes to 67% of the target. Phase 4 covering the rest of India was to be completed by 31st December 2016. However, due to uncertainty in the market because of court cases, the cut-off date was modified to 31.03.2017.

According to the information provided by the MIB based on the MIS data, about 6.74 crore STBs were installed in Phase 3 areas. The cut-off date for Phase 3 of digitisation of cable TV Network was 31st December 2015 but due to extension/stay granted by some courts, time up to 31st January 2017 was allowed by the ministry. Following the disposal of the cases, the ministry noted that digitisation has been fully implemented in Phase III areas.

Phase 1 of digitisation was completed by 31st October 2012. Out of the four metro cities planned to be digital, digitisation has been near total in Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Later Chennai also underwent the digital transition even after the disposal of several court cases.

About 1.42 crore cable STBs have been installed in Phase I cities. Maximum number of STBs were installed in Delhi at 50 lakhs, followed by 29 lakhs in Mumbai, 38 lakh in Kolkata and 24s lakh in Chennai.

The data for phase 2, which was concluded by 31st March 2013 in 38 cities spanning across 14 States and one Union Territory, has not been provided.

In its annual report for FY18-19, the ministry noted that the data collected from different stakeholders indicates that digitisation has resulted in more choice for the customers, improvement of the quality of pictures and sound, increase in taxes, reduction in carriage fee, and increase in subscription revenue.

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