Cable TV

Public authorities can deny cable laying permission to MSOs & LCOs

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NEW DELHI: Stressing that multi-system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs) are required to lay and establish cables and erect posts from  time to time under, over, along, across, in or upon any immovable property  under the control or  management of a public authority, the operator can be directed to remove it or  shift it or alter its position, as the case may be, at  its own  cost in  the  time frame indicated by the  authority.

In new Guidelines to enable the State Governments to put in place an appropriate mechanism for speedy clearances of requests by operators for Right of Way, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has said that operators can be asked by the public authority in public interest to remove or shift or alter the position.

In a letter sent to Chief Secretaries of all states, the Ministry said Cable Operators sometimes are required to lay and establish cables and erect posts from time to time under, over, along, across, in or upon any immovable property ever vested in or under the control or management of a public authority, after due permission.                                                            

Section 48(5) of the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 specifies that the Central Government may lay down appropriate guidelines to enable the State Governments to put in place an appropriate mechanism for speedy clearance of requests from cable operators for laying cables or erecting posts in properties with a public authority.

The Ministry has laid the basic guidelines for this purpose which covers the procedure and the obligations of both the operators and the public authority in this regard.

It has also made it clear that no application by an operator can be rejected unless has been given an opportunity of being heard on the reasons for such rejection. The permission will be deemed to have been granted if the public authority fails to either grant permission or reject the applicationwithin 65 days of the receipt of the application.

Where the  public  authority  accepts  the  undertaking  by  the licensee to discharge the  responsibility to  restore any damage that be cause, it may   seek a bank guarantee for  an amount in  lieu   of expenses for   restoration  of  such  damage, as  security for   performance  in   the discharge of the  responsibility.

Any application to a public authority will be accompanied by a copy of the  registration granted by the  Government - by the Head Post Master for LCOs under Rule 5, and Central Government for MSOs under Rule 11C of  the Cable Television Networks Rules 1994;

The extent of land required for establishment of the overground cable infrastructure will also have to be indicated.

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