Not for the first time India has adjusted its cut-off dates for the adoption of digital TV, and in particular the mandated usage of digitally addressable set-top boxes.
India’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has previously stated that its Phase III and Phase IV schemes for the installation of digital set-top boxes would have an “absolute” completion of December 2015 and December 2016 respectively.
Phases 1 and II (covering India’s largest metropolitan areas and cities) has been completed.
In 2014, the Ministry permitted the Phase III towns and regions completion date to slip from 2014 to December 2015, which was also missed. The authorities subsequently permitted this date to slip to January 31st 2017. Now, despite the Ministry insisting that there would be no further extensions, the January 2017 date has been extended to March 31st this year, again with a warning that this date would not be further extended.
The Phase IV smaller towns completion date has also been slowed to slip to March 31st 2017, again with a warning that no further extensions would be allowed.