MIB urges Telangana government to take action against cable ops carrying analogue signals

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has written to the state government of Telangana to take action against cable TV operators who are still carrying analogue signals.

Taking cognisance of the inaction of the state government against cable operators who have not installed digital set-top boxes (STBs), the MIB has called for prompt action to be taken.

Cable TV operators are required to digitise their networks. As per the MIB directive, it is mandatory for cable operators to install digital STBs at consumer homes by 1 April 2017.

In a letter to the state government, Jayashree Mukherjee, the additional secretary to Central government department of information and broadcasting, has said: “The ministry has been receiving a number of complaints alleging that some cable operators have still not set up STBs for their customers.”

These complaints are being sent to the concerned officials such as collectors, sub-divisional officials, and the police, but no response has been received, the letter added.

The ministry had prepared a checklist for the inspection of multi-system operators (MSOs) by authorised officials and sent it to them on 25 April 2017, along with a request to plan regular inspections and take prompt action against defaulters, but the authorised officials have responded very poorly to their request, Deccan Chronicle reported.

Mukherjee has asked the state government to direct all district magistrates to take action against defaulters.

There are about 86 lakh cable TV connections in Telangana, of which over 50% do not have STBs, Deccan Chronicle reported.

As pointed out by the additional secretary, only digitally encrypted signals are supposed to be carried on the cable TV network. The carriage of unencrypted and analogue signals post-April 1 constitutes a violation of Section 4A of the Cable Television Network Act of 1995, for which authorised officers have been empowered, under Section 11, to seize the equipment of defaulting cable operators.