As part of the move to bring TV cable network under digital system in the country, cable operators will take steps to reach digital set top boxes to all customers in Dhaka and Chattogram by March 31, said Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hassan Mahmud.
In the next step, this measure will be taken in all the divisional and metropolitan cities by May 31 and in the whole process only the operators will provide the box to the customers at affordable prices, he said.
The minister made the unanimous decision after a discussion with TV cable operators, DTH service providers and representatives of the Association of Television Channel Owners-ATCO at the meeting room of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at the Secretariat on Tuesday. Ministry Secretary Md. Maqbool Hossain, Additional Secretary Khadija Begum, ATCO Senior Vice President Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and top cable operators took part in the discussion.
The Broadcasting Minister said, “As part of building Digital Bangladesh, we have discussed in detail with cable operators and DTH service providers and ATCO representatives to implement the initiative to digitalize TV cable operating system. There was a stay order of the High Court after the initiative was taken, the High Court stayed the order after an application from the Ministry. Now there is no legal impediment to digitalisation.”
Noting that those who do not pick up the digital set-top box at the scheduled time will be deprived of many TV channels, Dr. Hassan said.
“We have also agreed to form a policy and advisory committee only in the light of the Network Management Act, which will be done by the ministry," the minister said. He said, “I have taken another initiative, I have already talked to the machine tools factory so that they can make set top boxes here. They are taking that initiative.”
The Broadcasting Minister said, “The country is being deprived of those who are connected with this medium just because they are not able to digitalize the network. VAT-Tax of the government is not collected properly. We want to digitalize this medium so that those who want to provide better service to the customer also get a fair share and the state is not deprived and above all the customer gets better service. A lot has been digitized in the neighboring countries, we are lagging behind.”
Awami League joint general secretary in response to a question from journalists Dr. Hasan said, “I am relieved and thankful to the Creator for the news that Begum Zia has recovered and returned home. At the same time, the fact that the BNP has misrepresented her health has been proved by Begum Zia's recovery. Pointing the finger at the medical system of Bangladesh and showing contempt for the doctors, they said that if Begum Zia was not taken abroad, an accident could happen at any time. Earlier, when Begum Khaleda Zia was admitted to the hospital, they also said that it was not possible to save her without taking her abroad. The lie that BNP has done is proved by the recovery of Begum Khaleda.