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Cable switchover gets yet another extension

KOLKATA: Cable tv viewers now have time until March 31 to make a choice the channels they wish to view.

Trai, the company steering the switch to a brand new regime the place customers make a choice the channels they wish to view instead of being compelled to buy programs, extended the deadline on Tuesday following a gathering with digital platform operators, together with MSOs like SITI Cable, Hathway and GTPL and DTH gamers like Tata Sky, Airtel and DishTV.

According to an evaluation made by way of Trai, round 65% of 100 million cable TV homes in India and 35% of 67 million DTH TV homes in the nation have selected the channels they wish to subscribe. But with an unlimited collection of customers but to workout the selection, the regulator famous that it might be unfair to hurry them to a decision.

“This is the first time that the device of settling on channels/bouquet by way of the subscribers is being offered, leading to problem in making the selection. In some circumstances, local cable operators (LCOs) have now not been able to reach out to subscribers to create awareness among them. Some subscribers had to go to nearest the Point of Sale (POS) for exercising their choice as they did not have get entry to to computer systems or don't seem to be at ease using computer systems or other era to make their selection,” a Trai professional explained.

Over the weekend, several homes in Kolkata also complained of pay channels being deactivated with out notice or being asked to publish their selection. Trai, in a release on Tuesday, iterated that LCOs, MSOs and DTH gamers should now not purpose such inconvenience during the migration.

While the Trai determination will carry relief to several million cable homes which are but to make up their minds on what they wish to view or have now not been able to keep in touch it to the LCO, quite a lot of industry stakeholders in Kolkata appeared disenchanted with but another extend and argue that it'll handiest chase away implementation further and now not resolve the issue. “There is a section who are pleased with what they have got and don’t want alternate. They will not use the additional time to make the switch but take a seat it out again. This order brings us back to sq. one,” said Mrinal Chatterjee, who has graduated from an LCO to MSO.

Others feel it is unfair to have a section paying a certain amount to view all channels while another set of shoppers pay a identical amount but get to view only a few pay channels. “We will continue to invite customers to publish their choice to make the switch on March 31. But I'm really not sure if this is technically conceivable. Are the servers of main MSOs in the nation with thousands and thousands of subscribers in a position to quick switchover? Or will there be another crisis that will push the deadline back another time?” asked Apurba Bhattacharyya of Cable Operator Sangram Committee.

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