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Phase III cable switchover in India is successful

The Indian Government says that the switchover to digital cable TV in urban areas, due by 31 December 2015, has been a success.

Progress in the nationwide digitisation programme was described by officials as “very positive”, although some areas of the notified urban areas are yet to receive set-top boxes (STBs).

The seeding of more than 75% of STBs had been accomplished. Out of more than 6,000 urban areas, just 400 are yet to receive STBs. Many of these have a population of under 1,000 and others less than 5,000.

The deadline for the implementation of the digital addressable system (DAS) has been extended by the Hyderabad High Court for two months in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, due to a lack of available STBs.

The digitisation of India’s cable TV sector has been split into four phases. The first, which covered the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, was completed on 31 October 2012. The second, covering the 38 cities with a population of more than a million, was completed on 31 March 2013.

Phase III was originally scheduled for completion at the end of September 2014, but was moved at that time to 31 December 2015. The final switchover phase, which covers the rest of India, will take place by 31 December 2016.