Hyderabad: As the extended deadline for digitization expired in 1st April 2017, It was mandatory for the Cable operators to install set-top boxes across India.
However, it seems out of 86 lakh cable TV connections in Telangana, only 50% homes have set-top boxes, the Central Government has taken serious cognisance of the inaction of the state government against cable operators who have not installed set-top boxes.
Jayashree Mukherjee, the additional secretary to Central government department of information and broadcasting, in a letter to the state government, says, “The ministry has been receiving a number of complaints alleging that some cable operators have still not set up set-top boxes 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”, she added.
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.
Ms Mukherjee says that the ministry had also prepared a checklist for the inspection of multiple-system operators (MSOs) by authorised officials and sent it to them on April 25, 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.
She has asked the state government to direct all district magistrates to take action against defaulters.