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Independent cable operator to install CAS over his network

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NEW DELHI: Amidst the prevailing confusion on conditional access, comes a claim from an independent cable operator in Delhi that he is ready to deploy CAS over his network.

He also claims that at present a survey is being carried out amongst his cable subscribing base of approximately 6,000. "My equipment for CAS is in place as is the subscriber management system," claimed Vikki Chowdhry, owner of Home Cable Networks and the president of National Cable & Telecom Association.

Chowdhry said that an investment of one million rupees has already been made on servers and other head-end equipment until now.

According to Chowdhry, the technology for CAS has been supplied by a Singapore-based firm called SPL, which also does R&D work in this field. The company would also be supplying the digital boxes.

Chowdhry, who services cable subscribers in some of the upmarket residential areas of Delhi, feels that SPL is designing a chip from his network that would enable tracking of time spent by a cable subscriber on each channel accessed at the home end. "If this technology is successfully implemented, the firms doing the ratings might as well shut shop," he claimed.

Currently 10 channels are ready to be put on Home Cable's network through CAS. Chowdhry is trying out a business plan to sell the digital boxes to subscribers that may cost slightly over Rs 3,000 to a consumer. But unless the consumer buys the boxes, the monthly rent for the box would be around Rs 180, he said.

How serious is Chowdhry? He claims that a form has been sent out amongst some of his subscribers to list out their preferences where various channels are concerned.

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