MSO clearances spurt as DAS Phase III deadline looms; DEN Ambey gets permanent license

NEW DELHI: The panic button appears to have been pressed. With the looming end of year deadline of completion of digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III, the number of multi system operators (MSOs) has jumped to 473 as of 4 November from 429 as on 21 October.


Of these, 227 – one more in the past fortnight - have 10-year licences and a total of 246 (against 203 on 21 October) have obtained provisional licences.


The only new entrant in the permanent licence list, cleared yesterday, is New Delhi’s DEN Ambey Cable Networks, which will provide DAS signals in Uttar Pradesh except Agra, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Meerut and Varanasi.


Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry sources said it had still not received any formal communication of the Home Ministry’s decision to do away with security clearances for MSOs, while some had been given provisional licences pending certain formalities relating to shareholders and so on.


According to the list put on the I&B Ministry’s website, Kal Cables of Chennai and Digi Cable Network of Mumbai remain on the cancellation list. On the other hand, Mumbai based Scod 18 Networking has also been refused security clearance while Bengaluru’s SR Cable TV has shut down its business.


Twelve MSOs, which had earlier been granted permanent licences were permitted to change their areas of operation.

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