Regulators

TV's leading ladies get into the CAF act

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MUMBAI: In an attempt to speed up the filling of consumer application forms (CAFs), the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), along with major broadcasters, has relaunched its on-air promo campaign urging cable TV subscribers to fill them at the earliest as mandated by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The campaign features television's leading ladies like Sakshi Tanwar, Toral Rasputra, Rubina Dilaik and Nia Sharma. It urges consumers to fill their details and hand over the CAFs to their cable TV operators, failing which they will have their cable TV connection snipped off.  The deadline for the submission for the forms was 15 December which again wasn’t met and extended to 31 December.

Says an IBF official, “From the time the campaign was launched first, we have been playing it across channels. And for a few weeks that it was taken off the screens, a scroll/ticker ran, reminding subscribers about the imperative to fill up CAFs.  We have started airing it again so that concerned parties take a note of it and help us achieve the goal.”

However, he isn’t optimistic about the procedure winding up by the end of the year as well. “And if MSOc and LCOs don’t do it, they will get in trouble, this time,” he says firmly.

The channels have been told to show the campaign as many times as possible throughout the day.

In the earlier phase of the campaign in 2012, actresses (Shweta Tiwari, Pooja Gaur, Ragini Khanna) educated and sensitised DAS subscribers about the issue. As per the Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems Regulations, 2012, the MSOs can transmit digital signals and activate the set top boxes only after receiving the CAF from the consumer with his/her preference. If there is no form, the MSOs were obliged under law not to transmit the signals and deactivate the cable connection. However, no such switch off took place in the first phase of digitisation. On the contrary, the deadlines of various phases have been extended time and again.

So what is the reason for this delay? The official feels that the delay in the process is either from the consumers’ side or the local cable operators who have not taken the form collection seriously.  “We still can’t figure out what is the reason for this blockage?,” he says.

The agenda is that by end-2014, India's 100 million-odd cable TV homes will phase out the analog version, and switch on digital TV.

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