Digitization reaches 67pc in Phase II cities

New Delhi, Mar 26 : The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I and B) on Tuesday said it has been consistently monitoring the progress made towards digitization during Phase II of the process.

I and B Minister Manish Tewari said he has been reviewing the progress on a daily basis.

As per the latest data regarding the progress achieved so far 67pc of the digitization target has been achieved in 38 cities, set for digitization by 31st March, 2013.

"As per the data received from the DTH operators and the MSOs, as on 23.03.2013, a total of 108 lakhs Set Top Boxes (STBs) have already been installed in Phase-II cities against the target of 1.60 crore, registering overall achievement of over 67pc digitization," said the ministry on Tuesday.

Four cities, namely, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Allahabad, have achieved nearly 100pc digitization. 75pc digitization has been achieved in 8 cities viz. Jodhpur, Thane, Aurangabad, Jaipur, Pune, Faridabad, Nashik, and Ghaziabad.

Analysis of the data further reveals that out of 38 cities to be digitized in Phase-II, 28 cities have achieved more than 50pc digitization individually. These cities are Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Allahabad, Jodhpur, Thane, Aurangabad, Jaipur, Pune, Faridabad, Nashik, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Vadodara, Sholapur, Kanpur, Varanasi, Bangalore, Indore, Ranchi, Lucknow, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Bhopal and Howrah.

"The Task Force set up by the Ministry has been meeting every week to take stock of the progress of digitization in Phase-II. The Ministry has already conducted second round of meeting with nodal officers of 38 cities on 8.3.2013 to ascertain preparedness in these cities," it said.

As part of the public awareness campaign to sensitize the consumers on the benefits of digitization, the Ministry has also stepped up the Public Awareness campaign through print and electronic media. All India Radio has been broadcasting of the radio jingles on its National and regional networks for creating public awareness. Private FM broadcasters are also airing radio jingles.

The Ministry has already brought out a print advertisement in all 38 cities in the respective regional languages. SMS campaign is presently under way in these cities.

As part of the awareness initiative, television channels have been frequently running video spots, black out advertisements, scrolls, etc. to make the people aware regarding the benefits of the process and the deadline of the switch over from analogue to digital in the 38 cities set to be digitized under Phase II.

The Control Room of the Ministry, which also has a toll free number, has been receiving a number of calls from consumers of Phase-II cities.

In order to facilitate a seamless transition on the due date of 31st March 2013, the Ministry has asked major MSOs to depute their representatives in the Control Room to address and clarify various queries relating to acquisition of Set Top Boxes, various schemes of purchase of STBs, package rates offered by MSOs.

--IBNS (Posted on 26-03-2013)

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