Regulators

TDSAT asks Karnataka LCO body to reconcile disputes with Siti Cable

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NEW DELHI: The Karnataka State Digital Cable TV Operators Welfare Association has been asked to visit the Bangalore offices of Siti Cable Networks to reconcile their accounts and resolve their disputes about quality of set top boxes (STBs).

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) had asked the parties in August to take their issues before a mediation centre by 30 September. It was informed today that the parties were meeting and discussing the matter bilaterally.

TDSAT chairman Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava listed the matter for future hearing on 9 October.

It had also directed the parties in the last hearing that status quo would be maintained till this exercise is completed.

Furthermore, the Tribunal said any one of the two parties were free to mention the matter before the Tribunal in case it is not satisfied with the mediation.

The Karnataka Association claims to represent 269 cable operators and its counsel Nittin Bhatia claimed that the STBs were of very poor quality and was badly affecting the viewing quality of the signals supplied by Siti Cable.

He said that all the cable operators who are part of the petition were willing and prepared to make payment of the monthly subscription fees at the rate of Rs 60 per month. He also stated that the cable operators are willing to have a reconciliation of accounts and if any dues are found against them at the rate of Rs 60 per month, they would clear all the dues without delay. 

Bhatia said all the cable operators who are represented in the petition were willing to introduce package-based transmission as directed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), as in that case the cable operators would also be entitled to certain benefits.

Siti Cabe counsel Upender Thakur said there was a dispute as to the number of cable operators involved. He also said large sums are due against the cable operators and  in any event Siti Cable is bound to follow the TRAI?s direction to introduce package-based transmission of channels. 

The Tribunal said the parties should first try to resolve their disputes through mediation. It asked the mediator to try to conclude the matter expeditiously.  

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