Cable network digitisation will benefit all: Hasan

Information and broadcasting minister Hasan MahmudFile photo

Information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud on Tuesday said all stakeholders, including audiences, operators and the government, will get benefit if the cable network is digitalized.

“The audiences will be able to enjoy more channels and clear pictures on television screen while the operators will get proper accounts of their businesses and the government will get proper revenue, too,” he said at an Iftar programme in the city.

The minister called for facilitating all people including the marginalised groups so that they can buy required set top boxes as per their capacity.

Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) organised the Iftar programme at auditorium of Institution of Diploma Engineers in the city’s Kakrail area.

Hasan, also ruling Awami League joint general secretary and pioneer of the digital transformation of the country’s cable network, said, “We don’t want to digitalise the network by blocking one area at a time. Analog system can also be used at the beginning of the digitization process”.

However, in digital mode, all domestic and foreign channels can be watched and in analog mode, only domestic channels can be enjoyed, he added.

Recalling that journey of private television in the country started with the hands of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the broadcasting minister said currently about 36 TV channels are on air and more are coming.

Had this initiative not been taken, there would be no TV channel owners or cable operators today, he said, adding, “Therefore, under the leadership of whom the country is moving forward at an unstoppable speed, due to whom this industry has developed, I would like to request you to keep this progress continue under her leadership”.

Hasan lauded the role of cable operators in reaching the TV channels to all people including the marginalized groups across the country in the last several decades and thanked them for their assistance in operation of ad-free foreign channels as per the laws and maintaining the serial of TV channels.

Responding to a demand of COAB leaders, he said if the cable operators started giving internet connections it will be like one enters in other’s business arena which will be same for OTT platforms and all other areas. Once the final draft of the OTT policy is approved by the High Court, specific steps can be taken in this regard, he added.

Presided over by COAB President ABM Saiful Hossain, General Secretary Syed Mosharraf Ali, vice-presidents Rashedur Rahman Malik and Syed Habib Ali and former president Anwar Parvej spoke at the function, among others.

Editor-in-Chief of Ekattor Television Mozammel Haque Babu and Asian TV Chairman Harunur Rashid were present at the function, among others.