MUMBAI: The Digital Addressable System (DAS) Phase III deadline came and went and what it's left behind is chaos and carnage. The analogue signals, which went off for a day or two in some territories, are all back now. Last mile operators (LMOs) who faced the set-top-box shortage crisis have taken the judicial route to challenge the deadline given by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). In six states so far the High Court has permitted an extension where as in Assam's Kamrup district, the District Magistrate after reviewing the petition allowed an extension.
DAS Phase III: MSO Alliance heading towards Caveat route in multiple states
Now multi system operators (MSOs) are also exploring various legal routes and if sources are to be believed, then the MSO Alliance is moving the Uttaranchal and Jharkhand High Courts to file a Caveat. "We sense that the LMOs will go to the honorable court in the two states and hence before they reach out in order to aware the court about the scenario, we are filing a caveat," a source close to the development tells Indiantelevision.com.
The DAS Phase III dilemma has also opened the piracy floodgates says a senior cable operator in Assam. "We have migrated from analogue to digital and therefore did not have the infrastructure to provide analogue signals, which we were ordered to be discontinued. But others continued with their analogue signals. ACC in Assam had the analogue signals running all throughout, which is piracy. Now the district magistrate has also ordered the extension in a particular territory, but the analogue signals are running all across Assam. Is it not piracy?" he questions.
The path ahead will be watched keenly as various stakeholders pull rabbits out of their hats in the coming days.