Sunday, 1 January 2012

Ring in the Digital, ring out the Analog

Year 2012 has come with many hopes for the Industry. Digitalisation Bill getting through the Parliament has been the biggest achievement in 2011. Frankly, there is a lot of fuss but no direction for the industry to move on to. Many rules and regulations for implementing Digitalisation are being framed by the regulator TRAI. Stake holders have demanded clarification on tariff, revenue share, basic packages etc. from TRAI. Ministry is also planning a massive public awareness campaign. 
We only have the deadlines to wean out the analog. How long will it take for TRAI to draft the regulations and how long the government will take to implement them is any one's guess. The fact is more than 30 recommendations of TRAI on various needs of the industry are in the cold storage of the Ministry waiting approval. Surprisingly, the television news media, which is always looking for even a trivial issue to create news, never found 'Digitalisation' as an exciting news. We did not see any discussion or coverage of one of the most historic moment of the industry on any news channel. 

However, the best thing to happen is that the process has commenced and the cable industry is seriously gearing up for this. 
Anna Hazare and his team kept the television news channels busy throughout the year 2012. By the end of the year the movement against corruption fizzled out when the Lokpal Bill was introduced in the Parliament. Many politicians and even the intelligentsia critisized the news channels for a biased reporting and for inciting the crowds to participate in the agitation against the Government. 
Once again, the television media came under the government scanner when the I & B Minister, Ambika Soni had to answer many embarrassing questions in the parliament when the Digitalisation Bill was being discussed. MPs of different parties might not have known much about the impact of Digitalisation but everyone criticized the TV channels for indecent and obscene content and wanted the government to create a regulatory body for the purpose. 
The year 2012 is likely to see many regulatory reforms. Already, networth criteria for satellite channels has been made more tough to keep away non-serious and fly-by-night operators. Digitalisation reforms may define a better role for the LCOs who may become the last mile carriers of broadband signals. TRP system may also become better with increased transparency. 
We have tried to bring forth the mood of the industry in this year's annual issue highlighting various issues. We have also tried to introduce our readers to some new technologies that may emerge in this year in the process of digitalization. Even the directory section has become much bigger than the last year, reflecting the growth of the industry and support of the stake holders to Cable Quest. We are very happy to announce that this year too, Cable Quest has remained at the top in the industry in every respect, thanks to our esteemed advertisers and readers and our Cable Quest team. 
I also wish to convey my best wishes to all our readers for a very happy and prosperous 2012.

—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma



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