The scheme to convert India’s cable systems in its four major cities cable to digital operation by June 30th will be missed. It is now clear that few, if any of the giant ‘metros’ will meet the obligatory dates.
The cable operators are blaming India’s regulator (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI) for being slow in issuing new policy frameworks. Also getting criticism is India’s Supreme Court which is handling applications from TRAI on new cable rates to be applied once digitisation happens.
However, set against these problems the government’s information and broadcasting minister says that the June 30th date must be met, and that the June 30 date is “sacrosanct”.
Sacrosanct or not the cable industry has the huge task of installing some 10 million cable decoders as well as negotiate tariffs with ‘last mile’ operators as well as revenue share agreements with broadcasters.