States given one month to suggest on Cas extension

NEW DELHI: The information & broadcasting ministry officials here today told senior state government officials from West Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi that they should inform the ministry within one month whether they want Cas extension in two phases or at one go, sources told

I&B officials also made it clear that in case the state governments preferred a phase-wise approach, they would have to identify which are the demarcated areas under each phase and within what time frame the implementation would take place.


The state officials informed the I&B officials that they had not had enough time to take the issue in the three metros at their own state cabinet and chief ministerial levels.

Cas has been mandated only in the southern parts of the three metros.

An announcement on extending Cas to other pockets of the metros is expected only after the 8 June review meeting by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Senior minsitry officials said that if the major issues are resolved, the government could make some announcement this month, and the details like whether it would come in phases or at one go would depend on what the states said.

Officials said also that if the three states differed, the government would take its own decision in consultation with Trai and the stakeholders.

Trai has favoured announcing all the phases at one go, officials said, as it would give the players enough time to lay out their business plans and the infrastructure properly. It would also bring down the price of set-top boxes.

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