Thousands of homes in Calcutta may have to do without TV as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) deadline for submitting subscriber application forms for each set-top box ends next Friday.
Sources said details of over 19 lakh subscribers, including their choice of channels, have yet to reach the multi-system operators (MSOs).
“Trai will raid MSO offices from August 24. If our officers find an MSO running connections without details about the subscribers, we will switch off signals to the defaulting set-top boxes. Criminal proceedings will be initiated against the MSO and the cable operator,” Trai member R.K. Arnold said after a meeting with MSO bosses on Friday.
If the regulatory authority sticks to the deadline, many of the 30-lakh TVs with cable connections in the city could go on the blink.
Arnold advised subscribers who were yet to receive the forms from their cable operator to seek him out and get hold of one or download it from the MSO’s website.
Trai officials said details of only 35 per cent cable connections have been obtained in Calcutta so far despite the August 23 deadline. The other metros completed the process weeks ago.
Industry experts said there was no way the city could meet the deadline because distribution of the subscriber application forms has been erratic. “While some operators have given the filled-in forms to the MSOs, others don’t even have the forms,” an expert said.
Cable operators are supposed to distribute the forms to the subscribers and submit the filled-in papers to the MSOs, who will feed the data into a software.
The data will enable Trai to monitor the details and ensure transparency.