KOLKATA: The multi-system operators (MSOs) have started gross billing for the month of December from 7 January in Kolkata and are hopeful that the local cable operators (LCOs) who at present are showing some resistance will eventually fall in line in the next two months.
The MSOs in the meanwhile are educating consumers about gross billing by publishing advertisements in newspapers. The ads request consumers to make the payment against a bill only.
“We have started the billing process. Customers are happy, but the operators do not want the billing to be in place. There might be some resistance but eventually things will fall in line,” said Siticable Kolkata director Suresh Sethia.
While another MSO said that the company is having meetings with operators and trying to convince them of the benefits of digitisation.
“We are talking to the LCOs and asking them to hike the bill which will include amusement tax and service tax. Even consumers have to understand that they have to pay taxes now,” said the MSO.
When the MSOs were asked about the disbursement of the bills, some said they have given the bills to LCOs in compact disk (CD), while others like SitiCable said that they have uploaded the bills on their system and the LCOs can easily take the printouts.
However, the LCOs in Kolkata have made it clear that they will not distribute the bills unless the revenue sharing model and other details are discussed.
Cable Operators Digitalisation Committee of the Association of Cable Operators convener Swapan Chowdhury said, “The MSOs who are giving the bills on CDs to LCOs need to give a hard copy of the bills as printing will also involve cost.”
It seems the LCOs are serious about every single penny and are not in a mood to give up easily!