Cable TV

TRAI awaits call from Madras High Court for Arasu hearing

MUMBAI: More than four weeks have passed since the Madras High Court gave the interim order restraining the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from taking any coercive steps against the Tamil Nadu state government-owned MSO Arasu Cable TV Corp for giving analogue signals in Chennai.


However, there has been no follow up by the Madras HC on what it intends to do following the stay. 


Anticipating a date soon, TRAI lawyers are already up on their toes and are compiling their response so that it can be submitted to the court. “We are still waiting for a date of the hearing. We haven’t heard anything from the court,” says a senior TRAI official.


The case filed against two parties – the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) and the TRAI will hopefully be  heard soon where the respondents from both the parties will get a chance to present their individual viewpoints. 


The entire issue cropped up because Arasu has not been granted a digital addressable system (DAS) licence to run its business in the state even after continuous efforts to secure it. The MSO is still giving out analogue signals, thus keeping Chennai as the only city from Phase I to not go the whole hog on digitisation. 


In its order which it passed late December 2013, the court states that the Inter-ministerial Committee (IMC) formed to decide the fate of Arasu has to move quickly on it. The order also mentions that Arasu abided by the rules and applied for a licence even after the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 was amended in 2012.


“It is not known to this Court as to why the first respondent (MIB) has not taken any decision so far on the application of the petitioner,” states the order. 


The TRAI view on this is quite clear. Says a senior official at the regulator: “The decision on granting the licence lies with the MIB. In our recommendation we said that state governments should not be given the licence. The IMC is working on it but we haven’t yet got any response from them.” 


The HC also states that since Arasu had followed the rules for applying for a licence, the MIB is not justified in keeping the matter pending and not arriving at a conclusion. It has also directed the Ministry to come out with a decision at the earliest.


If MIB follows the TRAI’s cue and bars Arasu from securing a licence, the regulator  can take action against the MSO, according to the official. “If the MIB disqualifies Arasu from getting a licence, it cannot operate and if they do, they will be in violation of the law,” he says.


As of now, nothing can be done against Arasu due to the interim order given by the Madras HC. But which direction this case moves is extremely crucial as the country is soon entering phase III and IV of digitisation. And it will decide whether the city of Chennai remains an analogue island in a sea of digitised India. 

Latest Reads
Competition regulator okays Goldman Sachs stake purchase in Den Networks

Investment banking major Goldman Sachs has received the Competition Commission's approval to increase its stake in Den Networks to over 24 per cent by acquiring additional shares through preferential allotment route.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
DAS petitions challenging constitutional provisions listed for 3 November

With the division bench taking cognisance of several cases relating the digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III which challenge constitutional provisions, the Delhi High Court will hear the DAS cases on 3 November, 2016

Cable TV DAS
MSOs finally cross 1000 as pan-India DAS deadline nears

With less than three months to go for the deadline of the final phase which will complete cable digitlization all over the country, the total number of multi-system operators has finally crossed 1000 with 774 getting provisional licences till 30 September 2016.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Several DAS III petitions may be transferred to Division Bench of Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI: The Digital Addressable System (DAS) Phase III legal wrangle is moving on, albeit slowly and steadily.  Lawyers appearing on behalf of the multi-system cable TV operators (MSO) will inform a single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court about a large volume of cases relating to DAS III...

Cable TV DAS
Going a la carte with Star and Indiacast has helped: Bibhu Prasad Rath

Bhibu Rath heads one of the small regional cable TV players in the TV distribution business: Ortel Communications. The MSO began as a local player in the state of Odisha. But, it has since spread into neighboring states such as Chattishgarh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In fact, it...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Bihar govt trebles cable TV entertainment tax to Rs 50

Even as the government is working on subsuming entertainment and other incidental taxes into a goods and service tax (GST) which would be around 18 per cent, cable TV subscribers in Bihar are about to be delivered a blow to their wallets.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
DEN seeks Goldman Sachs investment nod from shareholders

MUMBAI: Leading Indian multisystem cable TV operator (MSO) DEN Networks –promoted by Sameer Manchanda- which got its board’s nod to issue another 1.58 crore shares at a price of Rs 90 per share to existing investor Goldman Sachs is now seeking shareholder approval for the same through an...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
NXT Digital-InCable merger gets shareholder nod; D’Silva bemoans lack of ecosystem support

MUMBAI: Hinduja Ventures Ltd’s (HVL’s) proposal to demerge its NXT Digital headend in the sky (HITS) business from its subsidiary Grant Investrade Ltd (GIL) and merge it into its cable TV MSO offshoot Indusind Media & Communications Ltd (IMCL) got the thumbs up from its shareholders at its...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Comcast to launch wireless service using Verizon

Here is good news for all Comcast subscribers. The US cable giant’s chief executive Brian Roberts has announced the launch of a wireless service by mid-2017. It plans to create a service that would run on its 15 million WiFi hotspots and use Verizon's wireless network through a deal struck in 2011...

Cable TV Multi System Operators

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories