DAS-3 & DAS-4 RESCHEDULED
The I&B Ministry Has Re-scheduled Compulsory Digitisation For Both, DAS Phase-3 And DAS Phase-4.
♣ The DAS phase-3 deadline has been rescheduled to 31st January 2017.
♣ DAS Phase-4 has been rescheduled to 31st March 2017.
Vide its notice dated 22nd December, the I&B ministry stated:
"In order to provide adequate time for transition of those subscribers who had not switched to digital mode of transmission in the Phase III areas on account of the on-going court proceedings, it is decided that Broadcasters, MSOs and local cable operators (LCOs) will be allowed further time up to 31st January, 2017 after which no analog signal shall be carried in Phase Ill areas. It may also be noted that no further extension shall be given in future."
A Press Information Bureau press release dated 23 December 2016, stated:
"The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is extending the cut-off date for Phase IV of Cable TV Digitization to 31st March, 2017 in lieu of uncertainty in the market due to pending court cases and unsatisfactory progress of installation of Set Top Boxes (STBs) in Phase IV areas. Digitization in rural areas was targeted to be achieved by 31st December, 2016 under Phase IV. A notification in this regard will be issued shortly.
The ministry will shortly issue an official notification.
The news of extended deadlines was generally well received by the Cable TV industry.
Viacom 18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats echoed these sentiments, when he told the press "Owing to lack of preparedness of the industry toward digitisation, it is a good move provided there are no more extensions at all."
Voicing a contrary view, Star India legal and regulatory affairs president and general counsel Deepak Jacob expressed disappointment. "When the DAS IV deadline was finally set for 31 December 2016 as per a government notification approved by Parliament, the ministry ideally cannot and should not extend the deadline at all," he said emphatically. "Now, the government should stick to its new deadline and not allow any postponement."