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Cancel DTH licence auction, cable operators urge PEMRA

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MUMBAI: Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) has been urged to cancel the auction of Direct-to-Home (DTH) licence and postpone launch of the services for three years. PEMRA was scheduled to auction DTH license on 23 November, adding that this decision would affect several thousand cable operators across Pakistan.

Peshawar chapter cable operators of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan have urged Pemra to cancel the auction and postpone the launch.

The Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (COAP) Peshawar chapter also sought take strict action against those providing non-permitted services of operating Indian TV and C-Line across Peshawar. They also sought removal of Indian television channels from all broadcast sources.

Around 14,000 operators having legal cable license were operating cable system across the country, of which 200 had been operating in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In Peshawar alone, around 45 operators are delivering cable services.

Cable Operators Federation of Pakistan coordinator Ali Raza Khan said that they would raise their voice at every forum and would stage protests. Khan said that PEMRA was soon scheduled to auction DTH license.

Khan told journalists at a conference that the cable operators had put in billions in the digital system on the orders of PEMRA but neither the DTH nor the digital policy was clear to the operators since 2000.

Cable TV in Pakistan was earlier operated on the analogue system but later switched to digital cable system for which operators invested huge sums. Khan complained against authorities who were planning to launch DTH system.

PEMRA, Khan said, had received billions as taxes from the operators,. COAP expected that the authorities, instead of adopting dual policy, formulate separate policies for DTH and the digital system. The coordinator added that the sale of C-Line and Dish TV had already multiplied in Pakistan.

Khan urged the Chief of Army Staff to launch an operation against the illicit sale of C-line and Dish TV, bemoaning that they had met Pemra authorities to seek a solution to the issue, but it did not yield results.

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