40% cable TV consumers yet to fulfil requirement

PATNA: Nearly 2.5 lakh digital cable TV viewers in the city have filled in the Consumer Application Forms (CAFs) till November 15, the deadline set for Multi-System Operators (MSOs) for entry of subscribers’ details and choice of channels and services in their Subscriber Management Systems. However, according to the MSOs, they have been able to cover only 60% of the consumers of the city, and the biggest hurdle in this task is consumers’ indifference to the CAF.

In the second phase of Digital Addressable Cable TV System (DAS) implementation, the Union government had directed the MSOs of 38 cities to get their subscribers fill in the details of the services and packages of their choice in the CAFs. “The major problem is that most of the viewers do not take personal initiative and only due to our persuasion they fill in the forms,” said Munnu Pratap of GTPL, one of the MSOs of the city.

When asked how many consumers his firm has covered, he said out of one lakh consumers who have subscribed to the Set-Top Boxes (STBs) of his company, only 60% to 65% have filled in the form. “For the past one month, we are busy collecting the forms but it seems people are not very aware of the CAF and its benefits. Yet, we are constantly airing ads regarding CAF, so that maximum people avail the benefit of the service,” he said.

Rajneesh Dixit of SITI Maurya told TOI that only those subscribers’ grievances will be addressed by the MSOs or the operators, who have filled in the forms. If information and broadcasting ministry sticks to its provisions, then legal action would be taken against the MSOs whose STBs are found working after the deadline without the fulfilment of CAF norm,” he said. Till now, SITI Maurya has received around one lakh CAFs.

Another MSO, Darsh Digital Network Pvt Ltd, has received approximately 80,000 forms, said Nilesh Kumar Sinha, one of the directors of the firm. “However, it comprises only 60% of the total subscribers,” he said and added if the MSOs get any instruction regarding disconnecting the subscription in case of failure of filling up the CAFs by the customers, they will be compelled to comply with it. “Although the previous notice said so, no latest instruction in this regard has been received yet,” he said.

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