Digital ‘set-top’ box for all in Dhaka & Ctg by March 31: Hasan

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Dhaka, Feb 01: Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said that the cable operators would take step to reach digital ‘set-top’ box to all TV subscribers of Dhaka and Chattogram by March 31 as a part of digitalization of the country’s TV cable network.

“Later, the step (to reach ‘set-top’ box) would be taken at all divisional and metropolitan cities by May 31. The cable operators will deliver the box to all subscribers at affordable prices,” he said.

The minister told after a meeting with the representatives of TV cable operators, DTH service providers and Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO) at the meeting room of his ministry at Secretariat in the capital.

Secretary of the ministry Md Mokbul Hossain, additional secretary Khadiza Begum and ATCO senior vice-president Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, among others, took part in the meeting.

Hasan said the meeting discussed about implementation of the TV cable operating system into digitalization as part of building ‘Digital Bangladesh’. There was a stay order of the High Court after taking the step and later the court vacated the order after an application from the ministry, he said, adding: “Now there is no legal obligation to make it digital.”

He said the audience will be deprived of many TV channels if they would not take the digital ‘set-top’ box at the scheduled time.

The minister urged the ATCO representatives to air the issue widely to let know countrymen.

He said the meeting was also agreed to form a policy and advisory committee in this regard. “I also took another initiative that I’ve already talked with machine tools factory as they can manufacture ‘set-top’ box here. And they are taking the step,” said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.

The minister said if the country’s television cable network is digitized, all the TV audience, owners and cable operators will be benefited. As the network system is not digitalised yet, the government is losing VAT and Tax, he added.

Replying to a query over Begum Zia’s health issue, the minister said it is really a good news that she is returning to her residence after getting well. It was also proved through her recovery that BNP did ill politics over her health issue, he added.

He said they showed thumbs down to the treatment system and the doctors of the country. BNP always did ill politics with her treatment and health condition and tried to send her abroad, said Hasan.