India delays analogue switch-off, again

India’s Information & Broadcasting Ministry has again postponed the nation’s total switch-off of its analogue broadcasting. The new date is December next year, whereas the official target was December this year.

The Ministry says there is still too much to be done, with – in particular – the cable industry needing to buy in new digital equipment, and obtain licenses and permissions as well as operating digital addressable systems which is the essence of the digital adoption scheme.

Politically, India’s new government is blaming the previous administration for causing the delay.

By and large the country’s Phase I and II targets, which involved the very largest cities and towns has been completed, although much later than first intended. The government is now saying that the next target, its Phase III cities could see analogue switch-off by June next year, although the initial date for Phase III was hoped to have been achieved by the end of this year.

Phases III and IV will need some 70 million set-top boxes to be procured.

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