Cable TV

Andhra Pradesh CM writes to Arun Jaitley seeking 6-month extension on DAS Phase III

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MUMBAI: With an aim to address the concerns of 800+ multi system operators (MSOs) and 9000+ local cable operators (LCOs) across 13 districts serving 1.3 million households in Andhra Pradesh, the state’s chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has written to the Information and Broadcasting minster Arun Jaitley seeking a six-month extension to the Digital Addressable System (DAS) Phase III deadline, which expired on 31 December, 2015.

The signed letter, a copy of which is with Indiantelevision.com, says, “Only a few MSOs have got Digital License, mainly due to to non-affordability of digital headends and lack of technical know-how. As a part of AP Fiber Grid AP Government envisages to support there MSOs/LCOs by setting up a multi-tenanted digital cable headend that can be utilised as, ‘Infrastructure as a Service & Platform as a service’ facilitating the operations to apply for digital MSO license and sustain their areas of operation. This will help a large number of operators/employees who are surviving on this industry directly and indirectly.”

The letter further adds, “In view of the initiative and the special situation in Andhra Pradesh, the commissioning of AP Fiber Grid is required to enable MSOs/LCOs to utilise this network infrastructure ad to partner with this project. As this model is going to be uniform among all operators interested in associating with Fiber Grid, the cable operators may not be willing/able to invest for STBs in advance to meet the present deadline. Hence, it is requested to consider extending the phase III Digitisation target date by six months beyond 31 December, 2015.

Highlighting the status of the AP Fiber Grid Project, Naidu further informed that: 

.   AP Government has initiated Fiber Grid project to digitise the households in Andhra Pradhesh through both aerial and underground optical fiber cable network.

.   Work is in progress to lay 24 core ADSS optical fiber cable for a length of around 22000 kms over electrical poles. It is planned to complete this work by June 2016 under phase 1 of Fiber Grid.  2449 PoPs (Points of Presence) will be set up at identified electrical substantiations to house the electronics.

.   Laying of underground Fiber for a length of around 60000 Kms will be taken up under Phase II in association with government of India.

.   Dedicated Network Operations Center (NOC) equipped with all digital Headends providing Video (TV Channels, Data (Internet) and Voice (telephone) services also be commissioned by June 2016 facilitating all service providers to utilise the fiber grid with the model of infrastructure as a service & Platform as a Service.

.   It is planned to enrol the LCOs as Last Mile Operators (LMOs) to provide services to households connecting to Fiber Grid PoPs (points of presence) through their existing network.

.   The MSOs can be enrolled as ‘multi service providers,’ offering Internet and TV services by connecting to NOC of Fiber Grid and delivering through last mile operators. 

At the time of filing this story, the AP CM’s office was yet to receive a reply to the letter from Jaitley.

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