Chennai: With the Centre delaying issuing licence to the Tamil Nadu government-owned Arasu Cable Corporation, cable operators here have decided to launch their own multi system operator (MSO).
Chennai is one of the four metros mandated to implement cable digitisation.
The cable operators, who are planning to invest around Rs 40 crore, said their service through digitisation would start from January 18.
The new MSO — Tamil Nadu Cable Communications — already has 500 operators, said P Shakilan, state president, Thamizhaga Cable TV Operators. The new initiative would be operated through limited liability partnership.
It had placed orders for set-up boxes to Chinese companies. Before February, 350,000 setup boxes would be delivered and by May, 1 million connections would come under our network, he said.
"We (the cable operators) have been in the industry for over 23 years now and it is our survival game. To protect our livelihood, we decided to invest for our future," he said.
According to him, there are two major reasons for starting the MSO. First, they don't want their operations to go into the hands of a company, which is monopoly, and the second is confusion prevailing over the implementation of digitisation here, which has been extending since October 31 due to court cases and other issues. Also they are not sure if Arasu Cable would get licence.
Recently, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had recommended to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that the central or state government-owned companies or undertakings should not be allowed to enter into the business of broadcasting and distribution of TV channels.
He also claimed that the new company will be the first MSO in the country to offer 500 channels.