As revealed in the 4th Task Force meeting on 29 December, The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) is planning to extend the deadline for multi-system operator (MSO) registration by four to five weeks.
The MIB had asked MSOs who are interested in providing digital cable TV service in the Phase III areas of DAS to apply for registration latest by 21 December.
However, during the 4th meeting of the Task Force chaired by Addl Secy, J S Mathur, it was indicated that the deadline may be extended for four to five weeks.
On 16 December, The High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam had directed the Ministry to consider extension of deadline within a period of six weeks, disposing off a petition by M/s Kollam Cables of Kollam pleading that it was unjust to give a deadline of 21 December 2014, when the cut off date of Phase III has been extended to 31 December 2015 and also that government’s purpose to encourage indigenous manufacture of STBs will be defeated if we stop further registration.
Cable operators Federation of India (COFI) has also sent a memorandum to the I&B Minister requesting for extension of the registration till April 2015, so that operators in far off places can get a chance to retain their business registering as DAS MSOs.
When some MSOs and cable operators referred to some ‘cable-dark’ areas – areas not reached by cable operators, the Ministry wanted the MSOs and other stakeholders to identify such areas.
To register, an applicant has to submit a duly-filled Form 6 (in triplicate) along with documents and a processing fee to the MIB. The applicant needs to provide details of the company, directors/key executives and shareholding pattern in the prescribed proforma.
In the previous meeting that was held on 10 December, it was told that a total of 11 crore set top boxes will be needed for the third and final phase of digital addressable system of which only three crore will be for direct-to-home platforms.