Action against Kolkata cable operators not giving details: TRAI

Kolkata, July 18 (IANS) Following failure of multi-service operators (MSOs) and cable operators of the city to furnish subscriber details, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided to take strict action against them, an official said here Thursday.

MSOs and cable operators of the city have failed to provide details regarding the number of set-top boxes sold, subscriber's channel preferences and rates for the channels chosen (as per a TRAI regulation) within the deadline of July 10.

After the new deadline is announced, TRAI can disconnect cable TV transmission and lodge cases of "criminal prosecution" against the MSOs and operators who do not comply to the directives.

"We can file cases of criminal prosecution and disconnect transmission. In Kolkata, the compliance rate of the MSOs is as low as 20 percent. In Delhi, 97 percent of subscriber details are available with us. While in Chennai and Mumbai, the compliance rate is nearly 80 percent," said N. Parameswaran, principal advisor, TRAI, during a meeting here.

TRAI estimates that there are more than 28 lakh cable TV viewers (based on the number of set top boxes sold) in Kolkata that are serviced by nearly 5,000 local cable operators and 14 MSOs.

According to the official, the deadline will be announced soon.

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