The Nashik Zilla Cable Operator Association (NZCOA) has filed an application in the Bombay High Court seeking an extension of digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III deadline. The deadline for DAS Phase III is 31 December and the government has ruled out extending the deadline.
The application has been filed under a writ petition challenging DAS regulations and to restrain multi-system operators (MSOs) from coercing local cable operators (LCOs) affiliated to NZCOA into signing interconnection agreements.
Filed in early December, the civil application was heard on 15 December. The HC has directed the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to file responses by 22 December.
The applicants have argued that the government should not proceed with Phase III since interconnection agreement-related issues from Phases I and II have not yet been resolved.
Revenue share, customer ownership and billing rights are some of the contentious issues on which LCOs have a disagreement with MSOs. This has stalled the process of consumer billing in the first two phases.
The HC has also allowed the intervention applications filed by some consumer organisations seeking extension of the deadline.
The next date of hearing on 22 December 2015.