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2017 set for analogue to digital migration
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In view of the rising demand for spectrum, the Government could possibly set 2017 as deadline for broadcasters to switch over from analogue to the digital mode to offer their services.

Besides enabling broadcasters offer better quality of picture and various interactive services, digitisation would also result in efficient utilisation of available spectrum, said the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Ms Ambika Soni.

Inaugurating the 16 th International Expo, organised by the Broadcast Engineering Society, Ms Soni said that the trend worldwide has been to fix sunset dates for complete switch off of analogue services.

“While India as yet has not declared any sunset date for complete migration, it is now being increasingly felt that by 2017, we should also aim for a complete switchover,” Ms Soni said.

Emphasising that the Government was committed to digitalisation of the DD Network and All-India Radio, Ms Soni said serious thought was also being given to devise suitable policies for the mobile television.

“With a view to incentivising the introduction of FM radio services in the north eastern States, Jammu and Kashmir and island territories and to further liberalise the regulatory framework to provide a greater diversity of content and to bring down the operational costs, the Government is in the process of finalising the FM Phase-III policy,” Ms Soni said.

For auction of licences under the FM Phase III policy, likely to be released by March, the Ministry will consider cities and towns with population of over one lakh. The Ministry also hopes to set up around 4,000 community radio stations in the next three years, she said.

The Indian media and entertainment industry, which is growing at 19 per cent an annum, is expected to touch Rs 1,15,700 crore by 2012, Ms Soni said.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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