KOLKATA: That the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked MSOs in Kolkata to start gross (consumer) billing from 15 December, 2013, indiantelevision.com had already reported. Word just in is that MSOs in the Kolkata Municipal Area (KMA) have requested local cable operators (LCOs) to expedite the process of collecting Consumer Application Forms (CAF) and channel package details from the remaining five per cent of nearly 30 lakh cable TV homes in the city.
“We are asking the LCOs to cooperate and collect the remaining five per cent CAF so that we can start generating accurate bills against their names,” said SitiCable Network director Suresh Sethia, adding that the region had already collected 95-97 per cent CAF.
Manthan Broadband Services director Sudip Ghosh informed that apart from taking details from consumers in the prescribed handwritten format, “MSOs have also created a system in their servers, where LCOs could send CAF details to further advance the process of DAS.”
Meanwhile, an official from GTPL-KCBPL said the company had got CAF and SAF details of only over five lakh customers out of the seven lakh active set top boxes (STBs). “Unless we get the CAF and SAF details, we cannot generate bills in the names of the customers,” he remarked. “But we will try to complete the process for the remaining 2 lakh customers and give bills to them in the next one or two months,” he added after a pause.
According to few industry sources, while players like SitiCable and Manthan have said they have achieved 100 per cent CAF rate, it is possible they haven’t accounted for situations where certain households have two set top boxes and the consumers haven’t gone through the CAF process or homes that have been closed after the residents left the city and so on. Still, other sources questioned how MSOs can start the billing process when they haven't yet started the package.