TDSAT to examine Patna MSO's allegations over LCOs shift

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) has appointed an Advocate Commissioner to probe allegations made by Patna-based multi-system operator (MSO) Siti Maurya Cable Network that seven local cable operators (LCOs) have been trying to migrate to another MSO.


The Commissioner Diggaj Pathak will be given a list of subscribers by D K Classic, one of the LCOs. Pathak will then go to Patna unannounced and intimate the two sides about his arrival.


Along with the representatives of the MSO and the LCO, Pathak will make random visits to some of the subscribers to see whether or not the set top boxes (STBs) of the petitioner are functional at their places. In case the petitioner?s STBs at the respondent?s subscribers? place are found to be switched off, he will find out the duration since the signal switch off. Pathak will also ascertain whether the switch off was done from the MSO?s head-end or the LCO?s.


Pathak will submit the report by 28 August. He will be paid an honorarium of Rs 15,000 per day, apart from actual expenses, to be shared equally by both sides. The matter will now be heard on 3 September.   


After hearing the allegations of the MSO, TDSAT chairman Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava were told by D K Classic that it was the MSO, which had switched off its signals. However, the MSO alleged in its petition that the LCOs had neither given the statutory notice, nor returned the STBs.


Sharath Sampath, who represents D K Classic, said the LCOs did not migrate to another MSO of their own volition and initiative but Siti Maurya disconnected the supply of its signals, compelling them to take signals from another MSO. He also alleged that if his client D K Classic?s share in the carriage fee is taken into account, not only will there be no dues payable but the LCO will be entitled to receive some payments from the Siti Maurya.

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