Consumers should benefit from Digitisation drive: Javadekar

Consumers should benefit from Digitisation drive: Javadekar

Consumers should benefit from the government's drive to Digitise the cable TV sector,Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said today even as he emphasised on the need for having inter-operability of Set Top Boxes (STBs).

Javadekar, who was speaking at the first meeting of a task force constituted by his ministry for Phase III and Phase IV of the Digitisation drive, said that it is important the consumers should get high quality signals at reasonable price.

Referring to the telecom sector, Javadekar said that a consumer can choose a handset of an any make and also at the same time any service provider of his choice.

"But the consumer is not being given this freedom with regard to STBs. Why does he have to buy the STB that the Multi System Operator asks him to? If there is interoperability of STBs, it will be such a good thing," he said.

The minister said that more technological possibilities should be explored and suggested that if there can be a "two-way" communication through cable even TRPs could be measured.

Javadekar said that keeping in line with the Prime Minister's dream of a 'digital India', it should be ensured that every TV viewing household should get good quality digital signals by 2016 end.

The ministry has set a deadline of December 2015 for Phase III and December 2016 for Phase IV of Digitisation, by when the drive would have covered the entire country.

The I&B minister said that it is estimated that nearly 12 crore Set Top Boxes are needed for phase III and IV of the Digitisation drive but added that this number could increase by another couple of crores in two years time.

He said that consumers should be made aware of the benefits of digitisation and should also be told that STBs are being given at a subsidised price.

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