DTH

Trai warns some MSOs against analogue streaming in Cas areas

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NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has warned all the MSOs that strict action would be taken against anyone beaming analogue signals in Cas (conditional access system) areas.

This was informed to the MSOs at a meeting at Trai office on Friday. Trai said that this would have to be stopped with immediate effect, as it went against the law. Trai advisor Rakesh Kakkar told indiantelevision.com that the the regulator would come down with a heavy hand on anyone beaming analogue signals, as has been happening in some cases.

Trai took stock of the ground situation regarding the availability of set-top boxes (STBs) and was reportedly convinced that there is no real shortage, but there is some delay in actual deployment due to the last minute placement of orders by subscribers.

The MSOs also stated their positions about how many STBs have been deployed and how many are being imported. Reportedly, most MSOs are going for airlifting of STBs next week.

Kakkar said that there was no shortage of STBs, but because of bunching of applications by consumers, there is problem with deployment. He added that there are some technical problems due to lack of stabilisation because of a sudden rush of orders for boxes in a short period.

There are reports that customers are not getting channels as per the rules, and though the streaming is digital, no bouquet or a ala carte choice is available at the moment. In fact, Kakkar asked: "You must be getting the same channels through the Cas boxes as you did without Cas isn't it?" That is because of the rush and customers not filling their forms in time, and also because the boxes given out in the initial rush were all preset, he explained. This will change soon, he added.

MSO sources said also that they assured that there are enough boxes. One representative said that his company's seeding is already 9,000 boxes a day. Incablenet representative Ashok Mansukhai said: "We have told Trai that our deployment would reach 10,000 boxes per day. We will be airlifting boxes from next week."

Wire & Wireless Ltd is also getting in additional boxes. "We have deployed 1.5 lakh boxes across the three metros over the past five days. We are going for airlifting of new boxes. By next week we will have 50,000 more boxes brought in, and by 31 January, we shall have additional 1.5 lakh boxes in position for deployment. This is apart from the 34,000 boxes awaiting clearance at Mumbai airport and another 12,500 boxes at Kolkata airport," said WWIL executive vice president Arvind Mohan.

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