February 2017


Star India has continued its vexing policy to challenge and stall every TRAI order through a court of law. Last month, they challenged the TRAI's proposed draft tariff order even before it was formulised and declared! The TRAI was in fact responding to instructions from the Supreme Court and the TDSAT to apply its mind and formulate a completely new tariff structure. The consultation paper for the new tariff structure was formulated after taking in concerns of every industry player. It is unfortunate that large corporates with unlimited financial resources can hold the country's regulator at bay and stall any proposed reforms.

The AP FiberNet project has been test launched and promises a lot. By delivering broadband services, rather than cable TV, the state government has bypassed restrictions on government bodies prohibited as DPOs. AP FiberNet proposes to provide a huge bouquet of live IPTV channels + wired telephony & 15 MBps broadband services for just Rs. 149 per month!

In a surprise announcement, the MIB has automatically enabled all India operations for all DAS MSO's. There has, in fact been no such request from the industry. In fact the industry had requested for segmented and localised MSO licences for DAS3 and DAS4 areas at a much lower cost. This move will probably conceal the fact that there have been almost no takers for DAS4 licences.

Retailing broadband provides a far better business model than cable TV delivery to homes. Over the next several months we will continue to publish information that will enable cable networks to expand their skill sets and infrastructure for broadband delivery. This month's technical article provides a simple overview on the need and process to obtain a broadband (ISP) licence.

Recently, the Dish Doctor section too, has been receiving several technical queries on broadband delivery. It is encouraging to see cable operators once again adapting to change and market needs, for the years ahead.