Cable operators seek protection

11 Oct,2012

By A Correspondent

 

In letters addressed to Ministry of I&B and Home Ministry, the West Delhi Cable Operators Association has put forth its apprehensions regarding switching off the analogue signals in the move towards digitization. The letter says that since consumers are not aware of the process leading up to digitization, including switching off the analogue signals, the last mile operators might have to face the wrath of consumers, who might also damage the offices of the LCOs.

 

The letter says:

a) No a-la-carte rates have been announced.

b) STBs forced upon the consumers are basic ones of the cheapest variety without any features of video –on-demand, internet, games etc. that you have been promoting.

c) No testing/ repair/ maintenance facilities exist for STBs.

d) In spite of the consumer paying Rs 800 for an STB, ownership of it remains with the MSOs. The charges are termed as ‘Activation Charges’.

e) MSOs are asking to pay more for the STBs now. Some of them are selling the STBs for Rs 2000. For HD STBs, Rs 6000 is being demanded.

f) These STBs are not subsidised as reported by the media.

g) Millions of poor consumers do not have good quality TV sets to support digital feed. They cannot use STB unless they spend more on a new TV set which they are resisting.

h) Many areas of the metros do not have digital feed from any MSO.

i) Increase in electricity bills of consumers.

j) Rs 20 or more entertainment tax and 12.5 percent service tax on the cable TV bills for each STB.

k) Consumer does not have any choice. He is being forced to buy the bouquets that an MSO gives.

 

“We all are willing to co-operate with the government for the good of the consumers but we fear that since the consumers don’t know that they would not get all their choice in a single package of MSO and they would have to pay much more for the cable service, they are likely to react and cause damage to the life and property of cable operators,” said the letter.

 

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