Regulators

Total number of MSO provisional licence holders rises to 522, taking total to over 750

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NEW DELHI: Even as the Government got a fillip with the Supreme Court saying that Bombay High Court order did not imply a pan-India stay of digital addressable systems, 26 more multi-system operators got registration in the third week last month and took the total number to 753 including 231 which have permanent (ten-year licences) by 26 February.

The last list issued on 17 February had put the total at 727 including the 231 which have permanent (ten-year) licences. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had by 12 January cancelled the licences of 26 MSOs and closed their cases. According to the list issued today, the areas of operation of some of the MSOs have been revised or amended.

The new licencees have all got state-wise licences and none has got a pan-India licence. These are from Gujarat, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Utar Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Telangana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal.

With the Home Ministry directive about doing away with security clearances for MSOs not being communicated in writing to the MIB, the pace remains slow.

The permanent licence issued to Kal Cable of Chennai had been cancelled on 20 August, 2014 but this cancellation was set aside by Madras High Court on 5 September the same year. However, Kal Cable’s name continues to be in the cancelled list – presumably because the cases are still pending.

Sources said many MSOs holding provisional licences had not completed certain formalities relating to shareholders and so on.

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