TRAI warns MSOs and LCOs in Kolkata to get their act together

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) held a meeting with the leading Multi System Operators (MSOs) in Kolkata to review the progress of implementation of Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems (DAS).

The regulator has brought up the fact that though sufficient time has elapsed since 1 November 2012 the Subscriber Management System (SMS) of DAS has not been effectively operationalised by the MSOs, providing cable TV service in Kolkata. The SMS is to have complete details of the subscribers including their choice of channels. Unless this is done the full benefit of digitisation cannot be extended to all the stakeholders including the subscribers. This will also help the subscribers to budget their bills.

In an effort to educate and sensitise the subscribers, TRAI has been issuing public notices from time to time. The broadcasters and the cable TV service providers have also been running scrolls in the TV channels and TV advertisement for the last few months requesting the subscribers to submit the duly filled-in Consumer Application Forms (CAFs). Through these public notices, scrolls and TV advertisements the subscribers were also alerted about deactivation of cable TV services, in case of non-submission of the forms.

The reason for this was that, in terms of Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems Regulations 2012, MSOs can transmit digital signals and activate the Set Top Box (STB) only after receiving the CAF from the consumer with his/her preference and entering all the details in its SMS. If there is no form, the MSOs are obliged under law not to transmit the signal and deactivate the cable TV services.

TRAI expressed its serious concern to the fact that only 20 per cent of the subscriber‘s details and their choices are available in the subscriber management system in Kolkata. Whereas this figure is more than 80 per cent in other metro cities and that the inaction on the part of MSOs and LCOs in implementation of DAS will not be tolerated.

Accordingly the MSOs have been directed to take immediate steps to ensure that the subscribers details and their choice of channels/bouquets/services are entered into the SMS. The regulatory body would be keeping a close watch on the progress in this regard and would take all possible actions, including penal action as per the TRAI Act to ensure compliance of its regulatory framework.

Cable TV subscribers have been requested to cooperate and submit the CAFs complete in all respect, to the respective LCO/MSO at the earliest, to enjoy the full benefit of digitisation. In event of failure to do so MSOs will have no option but to switch off the signal to those consumers who have not submitted their CAFs otherwise such MSOs would be in breach of the law.

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