Cable TV

Kolkata cable TV network rebuilding after cyclone Amphan

Siti Cable network is reviving itself.

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KOLKATA: Amid the Covid2019 crisis, several districts of West Bengal including Kolkata had been devastated by powerful cyclone Amphan last month. Cable TV and broadband service providers are reeling across the state due to huge infrastructural losses. Although the players are putting high effort to normalise connections, many areas are still in dire straits. Siti Cable director Suresh Sethia estimates that 1-1.5 lakh set-top boxes and fibres of few crores have been damaged across the state.

Sethia says that none of the operators had the preparation to protect themselves from this disastrous cyclone given its magnitude. Even now, some areas in Kolkata have seen electricity resume a few days ago while there are areas in West Bengal where electricity is still a challenge. This coupled with limited manpower due to Covid2019 is making the task tougher.

He adds that more than 1,50,000 trees fell down and a number of lampposts which bear cables were razed. The operators have to work from scratch in those areas. 

Talking about the magnitude of damage, he states more than 50,000 set-top-boxes have been damaged of Siti Networks. However, the numbers might increase. Along with that, there are many control rooms where headends have been blown away incurring more losses. 

Siti Cable teams have been working round-the-clock to normalise the situation. Many of the workforce are staying in office for 20-25 days to ensure the network is on everywhere. However, he also adds that now they are looking at rebuilding it. All players in Kolkata have come to work together in the crisis and very soon they may have a common plan of pulling the cables and maintaining them together.

Sethia happily shares that majority of consumers have understood the situation. While they were also struggling with damages from the cyclone, they started contacting cable operators after eight days. “Had the cables be underground, maybe the disruption would have been less,” he believes. While Siti Networks is now focusing on rebuilding the network after temporary damage control, it will look at more underground cable lines.  

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