The policy of digitization of the entire cable TV network by the end of December 2015 has been made mandatory by the government of India. But Goa is apparently not ready for this change, due to various reasons. This may lead to the complete blackout of television sets running on analogue signals in the state in another eight days time.
The process of Digitization of cable TV network is going for the quite some time now. As per the guidelines set by the government of India, all the analogue signals needs to be converted into the digital on or before the 31st December 2015 and failing to that will lead to a complete blackout of TV channels. The meaning of digitization is the shutdown of the existing analogue signals.
The digitization process is just a week away from the set deadline and major chunk of Goa’s consumers have not yet opted for the digital set top boxes. The cable guys are facing the huge spike in the demand which is beyond their capacity to serve and this delay will lead to stopping of local as well national channels. The coordinator of the GoaCan cable services Mr. Roland Martins said that those who have not opted for the set top boxes (STB) as yet will not just miss out on the entertainment channels but also the local news channels which they depend on for the daily dose of news from all over the state.
According to the sources, GOACAN has petitioned in front of North and South Goa Collectors to call the urgent meeting of the stakeholders to supervise the implementation of digitization since the deadline is very short. According to the cable operators, most of the Panchayats areas are covered but villages in Goa are yet to be covered. According to them, it is a highly difficult task to install thousands of STBs in The North as well South Goa within such short span of a time. It was not made clear as why they waited till the last moment to implement the process of digitization, despite the repeated notices from central government.
The GOACAN have taken the stand of costing difference between SD and HD STBs. According to them, the cost of SD (standard definitions) STB is 1500 while the HD (high definitions) Box costs around 2500, sidelining the HD box would later result into loss as most of the channels are getting HD. “They will need to spend additional 2500 to get HD channels which are the matter of major concern at the moment,” they claimed.
Although the North Goa collector Nila Mohandas has assured that the Panchayat areas will be excluded from the list. “We have already placed the concerns raised by the cable operators before the government and the Panchayats have been excluded provided the cable operators would adhere to the deadline set by the government.”
According to Mr. Martins, all the stakeholders are still in the dark as the changes suggested by the collector are not yet updated on the official website of the ministry and it may backfire. “There is no official intimation of deletion of the Panchayat areas from the list of digitization before 31st December.”
Source: Various Sources