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Local Cable Operators to Challenge Digitisation in Chennai

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Local Cable Operators to Challenge Digitisation in Chennai

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Local Cable operators to challenge digitisation in Chennai

A cross section of local cable operators (LCOs) in Chennai are to challenge the Centre's notification to implement cable TV digitisation programme in Chennai. This will be the first petition to be challenged from Chennai, one of the four metros, which was earmarked for digitisation. The decision comes after the two-judge bench of the Madras High Court today asked the LCOs why they have not challenged the notification yet. 

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It may be noted, a similar petition was filed at Bombay High Court, but was rejected. The deadline for implementation of cable television digitisation programme at Chennai was extended for the third time on November 9 till 19th. The programme was originally planned on October 31, 2012 but kept getting extended since the Madras High Court was hearing a petition filed by the Cable operators and Tamil Nadu Government-run MSO for extension of the deadline. In the petition, they have said, enough set top boxes are not available in the market to meet the requirement of customers. On October 31, the Madras High Court had given a stay order, extending the deadline for switching to digitisation to November 5. On November 5, Court heard Counsels representing Arasu Cable Corporation, I&B Ministry and other DTH operators. During a heated argument, the Counsel representing Arasu Cable Corporation asked for 18 weeks time to supply the boxes from the time of placing the order. The Counsel said Arasu Cable is negotiating for a good price, and from the time of placing the order the suppliers are asking for 18 weeks time. Earlier he said, the Corporation doesn't want to burden the public and cable is part of State Government's welfare scheme so Arasu wants to get the best price. The entire process cannot be completed within the mandated time of October 31, 2012 and so it had sought an extension for the implementation of DAS in Chennai. Responding to Arasu's appeal, the Counsel representing...