Cable TV

DAS Phase II MSOs get 29 November deadline for activating SMS

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MUMBAI: The noose is tightening around those operating in digital addressable system (DAS) phase II areas. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today stated that MSOs have until 29 November 2013 - less than 10 days from today to complete the process of collecting the consumer application forms (CAFs) with information which includes the name, address, choice of channels and bouquets and entering the information into their subscriber management systems (SMS).  They have been directed to have the SMS operationalised by then and also submit a compliance report.

The direction states that the SMS system has to comply with the digital addressable cable TV system requirements as mentioned in regulation 20 of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Digital Addressable Cable Television Systems) Regulations, 2012, for ensuring efficient and error-free service to the subscribers by recording and providing individualised preferences for channels, billing cycles or refunds.

It is to be noted that the regulator had first on 26 April directed the MSOs to ensure that the SMS is operationalised and the signals of TV channels are transmitted to only those subscribers whose details such as name, address, choice of channel and bouquets etc are entered into the SMS. The MSOs were also directed to disconnect TV signals of the subscribers whose details were not entered into the SMS system and allow such subscribers to surrender their set top boxes. The MSOs had then been asked to furnish compliance report by 7 May.

Again on 19 July, the Authority convened a meeting of the MSOs operating in Mumbai, Kolkata and other 38 cities covered under DAS phase-II to review the progress of implementation of DAS, wherein the MSOs were asked to collect the CAFs, complete in all respects, including choice of channels/ services and enter the complete details of the subscribers in the SMS by 20 September.  The regulator had even issued a letter on 23 July directing MSOs to ensure compliance and communicate the same to the LCOs and furnish the report in the given deadline. But with the MSOs failing to comply yet again, the regulator again held a meeting on 25 September with the MSOs to review the progress of implementation of digitization in DAS phase II cities. The MSOs in this meeting had requested for the extension of the deadline to 15 November. Once again, they slipped on that deadline.

With the new sunset date being set as 29 November, can we expect compliance or another extension?

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