Cable TV

Bengaluru MSOs, ISPs to cough up Rs 300 crore as 15-year fee for cables laid

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MUMBAI: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will soon have Rs 3 billion in its kitty. And how? The municipal corporation has after deliberations for over two months come out with a fee structure for laying of cables across the city by multi-system cable TV operators (MSOs) and internet service providers (ISPs).

According to BBMP, MSOs and ISPs in the city have laid at least 15,000 km of cables. The move to levy a fee is to not only generate revenue, but also to ensure that the roads remain clean.

MSOs and ISPs have to pay upfront Rs 200 per meter for three cable ducts as fee for a period of 15 years. In addition, MSOs and ISPs will have to pay Rs 100 per meter for every additional duct they use.

Local cable operators (LCOs) have been exempted from paying a fee for laying cables.

According to an official with a Bengaluru-based MSO, the BBMP has asked the 30 MSOs operating in the city to submit a letter accepting the terms and conditions set by the municipal corporation for laying cables. “This letter needs to be sent on an immediate basis. Those who accept the terms can then be permitted for underground cabling,” the MSO official says.

The MSOs and ISPs which have already laid underground optical fibre cable (OFC), will in the next 3 months have to submit details of their underground cabling to the BBMP. On failure to provide details of cables already laid, the BBMP can either remove the OFC or can auction it.

“If the operators fail to submit details, the property will no longer belong to them,” the MSO official explains.

BBMP has also given three months to MSOs and ISPs to declare all uncleared OFC and pay a penalty at the rate of Rs 200 per meter in addition to the Rs 200 per meter per three ducts payable for a period of 15 years.

The MSOs and ISPs have also been asked to conduct third-party inspections of repairs done to roads damaged due to underground laying of cables. “This has to be done at the company’s cost,” he informs.  Operators also have to pay Rs 100 per meter of cable laid as supervision charge to the BBMP.

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