HC stays DAS rollout in Ahmedabad; other Phase II cities to follow?

NEW DELHI: Ahmedabad can wait for DAS. That was the decision of the Gujarat High Court which stayed the switching off of analogue signals to beyond 31 March because of the non-availability of digital settop boxes.

The High Court said Ahmedabadis will have till 9 April for the introduction of digital STBs following a petition filed by Cable Operators Association of Gujarat through its President Pramod Pandya. He said that STBs ordered from China had failed to arrive because of internal problems in that country and therefore the LCOs could not be penalised for this.

An Information and Broadcasting ministry official confirmed the development in Ahmedabad.

Sources, however, reveal that a stay on the rollout of DAS had also been granted by the Karnataka High Court till 1 April in Bangalore and Mysore following petitions filed by Karnataka Cable TV Operators Association President V S Patrick Raju and Mysore Cable TV Operators Association.

However, no confirmation of this development was available to till the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, Raju had earlier also raised the issue of who owns the STB that is installed at the home of a subscriber – the customer or the LCO. He had said that there was no clarity over who owns the box.

“We have also not given any commitment to exchange the box if the customer so wants. In most cases, we are also unable to give the bill for the box as the Multi System Operators (MSOs), which are distributing them, are not giving us any bill. All that is given is the activation bill," Raju told over the phone from Bangalore.

However, he said bills are being given to customers who are serviced directly by the MSOs.

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