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TRAI talks tough on progress of CAF in Kolkata; sets Aug 23 deadline

Exresses serious concern over slow progress with respect to the entry of consumer details, along with choice of channel/services in the subscriber management system of MSOs

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | August 19,2013

TRAI has set a deadline of August 23, 2013 for collection of consumer application forms (CAFs) from subscribers, complete in all respects, including choice of channels/services and entry of complete details in the subscriber management system (SMS), by MSOs providing cable TV services in the metropolitan area of Kolkata.

TRAI had convened a meeting of Multi-System Operators (MSOs) to review the progress and it was observed that the progress was dismal.

To educate and sensitise subscribers, a number of steps have been taken. A press release dated 19.07.2013 was issued by TRAI intimating all the stakeholders regarding the deadline set by the Authority. Broadcasters and cable TV service providers have been running scrolls on TV channels in the local language as well as in Hindi and English, asking subscribers to submit the duly filled-in CAFs. Subscribers have been alerted about deactivation of cable TV service in case of non-submission of the forms. The reason for this is that, in terms of Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems Regulations, 2012, MSOs can transmit digital signals and activate STBs only after receiving the CAFs from the consumer with his/her preference. If there is no form, the MSOs are obliged under law not to transmit the signal and deactivate the cable TV services.

TRAI expressed serious concern that even though the deadline of August 23, 2013 is approaching fast, only around 30 per cent of subscriber details and their choices are available in the subscriber management systems of MSOs in the metropolitan area of Kolkata. This situation is totally unacceptable and alarming. The MSOs have been directed to take immediate steps to ensure that the CAFs in respect of all their subscribers with complete details are entered into the Subscriber Management System by the deadline of August 23. In case there is any lapse on the part of Cable Operators/MSO(s) to meet the deadline, penal action may be initiated by the Authority against such Cable Operator (s)/MSOs as per provisions of the TRAI Act.

Cable TV subscribers are requested to cooperate and submit the Consumer Application Forms, complete in all respect, to the respective Cable Operator/MSOs at the earliest to enjoy the full benefit of digitisation. In event of failure to do so, MSOs will have no option but to switch off the signal to those consumers who have not submitted their CAF; otherwise such MSOs would be in breach of the law.

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