Coaxing people in the four metros to switch over to Set Top Boxes (STB) as soon as possible, information and broadcasting additional secretary Rajiv Takru has blamed vested interests behind the rumour that there are not enough STBs available to successfully implement the deadline of the first phase of digitalization in all metros by June 30, 2012.
"We have more than the required number of STBs. Vested interests are trying to rake up this to portray that the system which is being proposed is not going to work," said Takru reeling out numbers of available STBs during a meet on digitalization organized by Ficci.
The official said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) would in a couple of days come out with the tariff structure.
"The tariff structure is to be notified by the TRAI within the next few days. We do not expect the tariff structure to go beyond what it is today. The TRAI will notify the ceiling of the prices…(so) cable operators are fully entitled to charge less that what the TRAI says. That choice is there."
Ruling out the doling out of any subsidies by the government for the new digitalized environment, Takru said: "The government is certainly is not in the business of giving subsidies. The service providers are putting out their services with heavy subsidies…(possibly) because of the assumption of increased subscription revenues, by knowing whose watching what and the stopping of piracy."
In accordance with the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2011, digital addressable system in cable television networks will be implemented in the four metros by June 30, 2012. The switchover from analog to a digital system in the entire country is proposed by 31 December, 2014.
Seen as a game-changer in the TV broadcast industry, digitalization will enable broadcasters to move from an advertisement revenue model to a subscription based one while there will be substantial lowering of operations cost of running channels.
Consumers will also benefit with more channels of their choice besides sharper pictures and better sound quality.