Regulators

No extension on Cas deadline: I&B ministry

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MUMBAI: Conditional access system (Cas) will be rolled out in the notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata from 31 December and no time extension is under consideration, the government said today.

The deadline has been fixed by the Delhi High Court and there is no possibility of it being extended, an official statement from the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry clarified.

"In an application moved by a multi-system operator (MSO) before the Delhi high court for extension of time, the court has already taken a view that no such time extension is possible. The I&B ministry does not have the power to order any extension in the date of implementation of Cas. The transition time to run encrypted and unencrypted channels and switching off pay channel signals in unencrypted format began from 16 December and will end on 30 December," the release said.

The ministry was reacting to a report in a leading news daily that the deadline for rolling out Cas had been relaxed. "The report is totally misleading and baseless," the ministry said.

The ministry also categorically denied that it had left open a month-long window after 31 December for implementation of CAS and said that there was no question of any channel being blacked out. The I&B ministry has not filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court seeking transition time after 31 December, it clarified.

“In the advertisements on Cas released by the ministry from time to time in various newspapers, subscribers have been requested to apply sufficiently well in advance of 31 December for set-top boxes indicating their choice for pay channels lest their pay channels are blacked out on 31 December,” the release added.

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