Advanced Television

India’s digital plan fails in Kolkata

July 23, 2013

By Chris Forrester

Getting the first four India ‘metros’ to convert their analogue cable systems to digital was always going to be a tough demand. But there’s now considerable evidence that Kolkata has failed dismally to convert with consumers and MSOs being slow to fill in the necessary paperwork confirming that conversion has happened.

Now India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) is expressing severe concerns that Kolkata’s numerous cable operators are not taking the task seriously. TRAI says only 20 per cent of homes in the giant city have been converted. Indeed, it could be said that the other 3 ‘metros’ have also failed but at least the other 3 (Mumbai, Delhi and Chenni) have topped the 80 per cent digital conversion level.

Kolcata’s MSOs have now been told to take immediate steps to comply with legislation. However, with its finalisation deadline of August 23rd fast approaching, TRAI is warning that there will be extension, although it is hard to see what more they can do to compel conversion despite it meaning that operators – and consumers – would be breaking the law. The MSOs can, of course, switch off the signals.

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