TDSAT directs four broadcasters to sign pact & give signals to Chirala LCO

NEW DELHI: Four broadcasters namely Eenadu Television, Maa TV, Sun Distribution Services and Taj TV have been directed by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to enter into interconnect agreements with Chirala Cable Network for retransmission of their respective signals in 14 panchayats.

TDSAT chairman Justice Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava gave the directive after examining a survey report submitted by the Advocate Commissioner Tushar Singh who had been appointed on 1 December last by the Tribunal to go to the rural areas around Chirala town and conduct a survey.

According to the survey, the cable network has 2150 households in the area, the Advocate Commissioner had visited 10 houses in each of the rural areas listed by the network as his subscribers and also 10 others not in the list and found that even among those not in the list, there were four or five of the 150 houses visited by him who were receiving signals from the network as well as other local cable operator. Thus, the Tribunal raised the SLR figure by 2.5 per cent.

The broadcasters were directed to execute the agreement not later than two weeks and to supply their signals to the network immediately thereafter. 

Disposing of the four petitions by Chirala Cable Network, the Tribunal made clear that any variation in the SLR during the period of the agreement may take place only as provided under the Regulations. 

The Tribunal accepted the report of 7 January, which showed that the network had the connectivity of 2081 as claimed by the network, apart from those not listed by it.

The detailed survey report submitted by Singh, which the Tribunal said was made properly and reflects the true position, thus confirms the petitioner’s assertion that it has the connectivity of 2081 connections in the 14 panchayats. 

“If we take into account the five houses not mentioned in the petitioner’s SLR that were receiving the petitioner’s signals, the SLR submitted by the petitioner may be increased by 2.5 per cent. We direct that the petitioner’s SLR be taken as 2150.”

The Advocate Commissioner was directed to give copies of the expense account to the counsel representing four broadcasters who will to make proportionate payments to petitioner’s counsel B S Sai or the client within 10 days.

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