New Delhi: Union Information and Broadcasting (MIB) minister Manish Tewari has said in Parliament that the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation had been given provisional permission in April 2008. The provisional permission had been given on the condition that after TRAI recommendations are considered, the Ministry would decide whether state government entities can enter into broadcasting activities including cable/MSO activities.
The Minister was replying to a question in Parliament. Tewari stated that on November 26, 2007, Arasu Cable had applied for grant of MSO registration in conditional access system (CAS) notified area of Chennai. The Ministry had granted provisional permission on April 2, 2008. It was on the condition that after TRAI recommendations are considered, the Ministry will decide whether state governments/PSUs and other entities can enter into broadcasting activities including MSO/Cable operations.
Along with Arasu, four other MSOs in Chennai were provided CAS licences in 2006 — IMCL, Hathway Cable and Datacom, Kal Cable and JAK communications.
Replying to a question about licences given to private players in other southern states, Tewari said that CAS was implemented in the notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata on December 31, 2006; in Chennai, CAS was implemented since 2003 under notifications of January 14, 2003 and July 31, 2006. Since CAS was implemented only in Chennai, no CAS permission was granted to MSOs in other southern states.
Arasu Cable, a multi-system operator (MSO) of the Tamil Nadu government, has been chargijng with the Centre for ignoring its claim for an operational licence, and preventing it from transmitting digital signals to its subscribers. The MSO has filed a petition in the Madras High Court in December 2013 and obtained a stay over Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) order warning MSOs of prosecution if they transmitted analogue signals in Chennai.