Regulators

TDSAT appoints advocate commissioner to examine subscription claims of Chirala MSO

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NEW DELHI: An Advocate Commissioner has been appointed by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to carry out a sample survey of the SLRs of Chirala Cable Network, which is seeking signals of Taj TV, Eenadu TV, Maa TV and Sun Distribution Services.

 

The Tribunal said Advocate Commissioner Tushar Singh would go on a date duly intimated to all concerned to Chirala town and its rural areas where the multi system operator (MSO) claims it has subscribers. All the parties may nominate their representative to accompany the Advocate Commissioner in course of the survey. 

 

Singh will go to all panchayat areas named in the SLR submitted by the petitioner. In each area he will visit at least 10 houses named in the SLR and 10 houses outside the SLR to verify whether any one of them are the petitioner’s subscribers or they are taking their signals from some other MSO/LCO. 

 

Listing the matter for 4 January, the Advocate Commissioner was asked to submit a report within three weeks and he will be paid, apart from actual expenses, an honorarium of Rs 30,000 per day.

 

The order came on a petition by the MSO wanting the signals of the four respondents against whom it has filed these four petitions. The petitioner is operating in Chirala town and adjoining rural areas. The controversy between the parties is mainly in regard to the petitioner’s SLR in rural areas, adjoining Chirala town.

 

The Tribunal noted that Chirala town falls under Phase III of the DAS regime and the rural areas adjoining it come under Phase IV. In Chirala town, the petitioner is getting Sun’s signals through A.C.T Digital. 

 

During the proceedings, the petitioner filed two or three SLRs, which on verification by Sun are said to have been found incorrect. According to Sun, the petitioner does not have any subscriber in the rural areas around Chirala town and it is making an attempt to penetrate the rural areas on the basis of incorrect SLRs “which would make it very difficult for the broadcasters to raise their invoices.”

 

The Tribunal also noted that the petitioner had once again filed a fat affidavit giving its latest SLRs according to which it has 3219 subscribers of which 1138 are in Chirala town and the rest in the rural areas.

 

The ascertainment that the correct SLRs that should form the basis for determining the licence fee payable by the petitioner to the broadcasters is an issue of facts, which may be determined on the basis of evidences led by the parties.

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