Cable TV

MSO number touches 900 including 671 provisional

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NEW DELHI: Even as the total number of multi-system operators has risen to 900 including 671 getting provisional licences, the government has cancelled the permanent licence of one more MSO and the number of permanent licencees (up to ten years) has fallen by one to 229 as on 2 June. Thus, the number of MSOs has risen by 60 since 29 April when it was 840.

The permanent licence issued to Kable First Davangere Pvt. Ltd. in December last has been canceled as it has surrendered its licence to the Information and Broadcasting ministry.

In mid-May, Star Broadband Services (India) Pvt. Ltd, which earlier had a permanent licence for distributing signals in Delhi, had been shifted to the provisional category when it applied for pan India distribution. Tanuku Communication Networks of Andhra Pradesh was also moved from permanent to provisional category.

In the case of God father Communication Pvt. Ltd. of Amritsar, the cancellation of its licence was stayed in July 2014 by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Similarly, the cancellation of Intermedia Cable Communication Pvt. Ltd. had been stayed by Delhi High Court in December 2013.

The Information and Broadcasting ministry had cancelled the licences of 27 MSOs and closed their cases by 2 June. In most of the other cases in the list of cancelled registrations, it is because of failure to get security clearance from the Home ministry. However, there are cases of many MSOs holding provisional licences not completing certain formalities relating to shareholders and so on.

According to the latest list, the area of operation of one MSO has been revised after 24 May. In the week following that, only one MSO, Altimeric Digital Pvt Ltd of Odsisha, has been given pan-India licences. The new registrations include the states of, or specific districts in, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Chhatisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh.

With the Home ministry directive about doing away with security clearances for MSOs not being communicated in writing to the MIB, the pace remains slow.

The permanent licence issued to Kal Cable of Chennai had been cancelled on 20 August 2014, but this cancellation was set aside by Madras High Court on 5 September the same year. However, Kal Cable’s name continues to be in the cancelled list – presumably because the cases are still pending.

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