The government has invested Rs. 20.72 crore to upgrade cable TV services and provide feed in digital mode, since 2011.

Initiating the discussions on grants for his department in the assembly, IT Minister Mukkur N. Subramanian said the government is committed to offering people the services of Arasu Cable TV Corporation and is taking necessary steps to increase the subscriber base to one crore. Currently, the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) has 61,54,531 subscribers, the Minister said.

Several members sought to know what the government was doing for the Chennai metropolitan area. Mr. Subramanian said the government had spent considerably on the purchase of set top boxes, the conditional access and subscriber management systems, as well as the upgrading of digital control room, .

In Chennai metropolitan area, 2,577 local cable TV operators with a subscriber base of around 14,66,336 have registered online for the Corporation’s services. A total of 1,223 local cable TV operators have requested supply of set top boxes.

When members of both ruling and opposition parties sought to know about cable TV services through digital mode with particular reference to metros, Mr. Subramanian said as soon as the digital addressable system licence is issued to TACTV, the Corporation would be able to provide cable TV services in digital mode in the city.

Earlier in the day, some members had raised the issue of setting up IT parks. Some members, including those from the ruling party, sought such parks for their constituencies. Responding to these demands, Mr. Subramanian said the government had planned to set up a centre of excellence for capacity building at an estimated cost of Rs. 2 crore. The facility would also serve as a centre for software infrastructure development.

Mr. Subramanian also announced that the government plans to set up cloud based e-office services that allows government officials to access it for their work. The government will also establish a server farm for software testing which will help ensure the safety of the websites.

To enable government departments to send messages to mobile phones about its schemes, a SMS-based tracking service has been proposed, Mr. Subramanian said. The government has also proposed to add 2,280 common service centres to reach out to people in the rural areas.

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