It is said and believed that internet has substituted for, or affected, most of the methodologies pertaining to various activities. The digital existence of online shopping, online music, online movies, etc are few of the many aspects of internet that are giving tough competition to their originator. But TV is one mode of communication whose existence and importance remains intact till date. TV has authority, creates communities, inspires minds, stimulates the economy, reaches the consumers directly, builds brands, entertains and educates.  In my view, TV 's global importance has a lot to do with its transitional and aggressive nature of going hand-in-hand with digitalization.

Television became digital around two decades ago. The technology is called DTH (Direct to Home). I can briefly describe it as a wireless connection which provides personal dish in homes which broadcasts the satellite channels directly to the end-users (subscribers), eliminating the existence and need of cable TV infrastructure.

This cutting-edge technology has countless advantages. It enables users to have a customized list of channels. The sound and picture quality is par excellence. That is because there is no intermediary in between and the channels are transmitted directly and imperatively, on account of the signals in DTH being digital, unlike in cable technology which provides analogue signals.  DTH also provides value added features like gaming, shopping, parent-lock and educational facilities. There is a long array of such interesting features that makes DTH what it has become today- a completely state-of-the-art broadcast service.

As mentioned earlier, all developed countries and most of the developing countries replaced the old cable TV system with DTH  at least two decades ago.  In Pakistan, the process of DTH initiation started in 2003.  It was put on halt on various occasions.  Initially, The Cable Operator  Association  of Pakistan played a very negative role. After that, it was the state itself that delayed the process. After years of constant efforts by various local companies and investors, the government finally issued Expression of Interest for the bidding. A very detailed timeline was issued and each step processed impeccably. But as fate would have it, just before the final step , which was the "short listing of applicants" , PEMRA changed its chairperson. Consequently, the process has come to a halt once again, leaving the local and foreign investors in a state of dismay. Each investor was, and is, still ready to invest 40-50 million dollars approximately. The initialization of DTH means a raise in direct and indirect employment and huge amount of tax generation. Seemingly, our nation would remain deprived of DTH for an indefinite period. As a result of which we will have diverse effect on our economy and culture.

And the reason is simple:  Dish TV (Indian DTH) set top boxes that are already being imported through China and Dubai and are sold throughout Pakistan. Each illegal distributor is earning millions of dollars , out of which 98% goes to India. Consequently a total of 150 million US dollars is sent across border without tax deduction.  Countless Indian channels in Hindi and all regional Indian languages are broadcast through Indian Dish TV, promoting Indian culture in our society.

The establishment of DTH has become the need of the hour. If we want to update ourselves as a country, boost our economy, generate huge amount of tax and provide one-of-a-kind television experience to our people then we must encourage the efforts played by various entities to continue the bidding process where it was paused.