Claims that the Ministry’s order was issued with mala fide intentions, and will appeal in the Delhi High Court
Best Media Info Bureau | Delhi | September 3, 2012
Home Cable has, in a press statement, protested the revocation of its registration by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) for not furnishing DAS information as part of the process to implement digital access system by October 31, 2012. The MSO has said it will now approach the Delhi High Court to appeal against this “arbitrary order issued with mala fide intentions by the I&B Ministry” and will also raise the issues that “we have pointed out numerous times but which have been conveniently ignored for reasons best known to the ministry officials”.
The MSO has claimed that various communications have been sent to MIB in reference to the digitisation of cable TV and DAS information has also been duly furnished. “This action is completely arbitrary after the ministry has failed to respond to our queries,” the statement added.
Alleging that the Minister for Information & Broadcasting is being misguided by the Secretary, I&B in a hurry to implement the DAS Regulation and thus overlooking the interest of the consumer at large, the statement points out that the MSO has repeatedly pointed out during the entire digitisation consultation process that:
1. Domestic manufacturing of set-top boxes should be encouraged so that we are not completely dependent on Chinese import, when there is a requirement of billions of these STBs to be supplied/installed in the country;
2. What will the consumers have to pay in order to obtain a digital STB? What about the warranty and after-sales service? How much to charge for repairs/replacement of the parts like power supply adapters, remote controllers and smart cards?
3. How much will Pay Channels/service cost per month to the consumers? The former TRAI chairman did not fix any tariff for the pay TV channels as he was to retire within 15 days from the day he had bring in the tariff notification. This may result in consumers ending up paying 3-4 times more for cable TV subscription each month.
4. The LCO/LMOs are an integral part of this Cable TV distribution chain, but they are not being brought under the ambit of the DAS regulation, though they are the people who are solely responsible for STB installation, collection of subscription and servicing at the consumer’s home.
5. Why DTH is also not being brought under the DAS regulation when it’s the same content/product that is being provided to consumers?