KOLKATA: The last mile owners (LMO) in Kolkata have appealed to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to allow them to air events related to the region through their local cable TV channels.
The appeal has come after the Authority released its consultation paper to regulate the local cable TV channels of cable operators in June, this year. “We have appealed to the Authority to allow us to run the local video channels as we did during the analogue times,” informs Cable Operators’ Sangram Committee secretary Apurba Bhattacharya.
In the consultation paper, TRAI had said that MSOs, LMOs, DTH operators, HITS and IPTV service providers (all called as distribution platform operators – or DPOs- henceforth) are running local channels aka platform services (PS) that don't have the MIB's permission. And some channels that are transmitted by the DPOs through the PS channels have content similar to regular TV channels.
DAS, according to TRAI has changed the context for DPOs and their PS as far as cable TV operators are concerned. The reason: with digitisation, it is only the MSOs who can transmit encrypted signals from their headends on cable TV networks; LMOs can no longer transmit their own local ground based channels.
“Cable TV operators have no intention to violate the rules and regulations set up by the most competent authority concerning local video channel,” informs Bhattacharya, who feels that the LMOs have never in the past 25 years violated any of the rules.
According to Bhattacharya, digitisation has made local cable TV channels necessary, as it gets more localised and informative. “Cable TV subscribers through these channels can get information about the upcoming events, change of channel packages and TRAI recommendations,” he adds.
To make their voices heard, cable operators in West Bengal, presented their plea not only through forums, but have also written letters to the TRAI.
During the analogue regime, these local cable TV channels were available on LCN five. “The channel is used not only to telecast popular movies, but also helps people get acquainted with important announcements of local law and order, events, traffic condition of the area, weather report and educational/academic programmes,” informs a cable operator.