The deadline to switch over from analogue to digital signal TV in India will not be extended any further, says the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

At the end of January, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) stated that the deadline for switching off TV analogue signals in favour for the “digital addressable system” (DAS) Phase III will not be extended.

The measure, known as the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, was initially passed in 2011, announcing a mandatory switch-over from all existing analogue cable TV networks to digital systems in a bid to reach complete digitisation of India’s extensive cable TV network. To facilitate the process, the Act indicated that the switch-over would take place in four phases, each assigned to different areas of the country. To date, the digital switch-over has already taken place in both Phase I and II areas.

The Phase III stage was to be initially completed by the end of 2015 but it’s only now that cable operators in Phase III urban areas have been urged to switch off their analogue signals and acquire set top boxes from MSO /Cable operators. With cable TV networks turned-off, failure to transition to to analogue will mean limited or no access to TV broadcasts.

The Ministry has also issued instructions to Broadcasters, Multi System Operators (MSos) and Local Cable Operators (LCOs), to make sure that no analogue signals will be transmitted in Phase III urban areas from 1st February.