Cable TV

MSOs miss 15 November CAF deadline

MUMBAI: Multi system operators (MSOs) have bought themselves some more time to collect duly filled consumer application forms (CAF) from cable subscribers across 38 cities falling under DAS phase II.

The earlier deadline for CAF collection was today, that is, 15 November, and consumers failing to comply would have had their transmission cut off, even after possessing set top boxes. However, as learnt from several sources in the industry, MSOs failed to meet the timeline and are now seeking further extension.  

While a few MSOs including Hathway Cable & Datacom have extended the deadline to 20 November, smaller Kolkata-based MSOs say the procedure will be complete by 23 November.

It was the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that had previously extended the original deadline from 20 September to 15 November. When contacted, TRAI principal advisor N Parameswaran said considering it was a national holiday today, “any decision on the final date would be taken only on 18 November.”

“The MSOs have voluntarily decided to extend the date to 20 November,” informed Maharashtra Cable Operators Federation (MCOF) president Arvind Prabhoo, adding that the regulator had asked the MSOs to send a review of DAS phase I, covering points like billing and CAF, in the interim.

Kolkata-based Manthan and Siti Cable confirmed that they have achieved 100 per cent CAF collection whereas the Cable Operators Digitalisation Committee of the Association of Cable Operators convener Swapan Chowdhury said a 100 per cent CAF was impossible to achieve in the City of Joy with so many festivities. “We have increased the deadline for duly filled CAF to 23 November,” he said.

Cable Operators Federation of India president Roop Sharma opined that CAF collection is a difficult task at hand for operators.

“Considering that the broadcasters have not yet declared the rates for the channels, it is difficult for the consumer to decide which ones they want to subscribe,” she said.

Clearly, we have not heard of the last of CAFs, phase II – as yet.

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