The state government has sought a few more days to spell out the date for rolling out CAS, but indicated on Monday that it was keen to start the process early next year. The administration is learnt to be eyeing a February launch with complete connectivity for the city by March 2004.
Information and cultural affairs secretary Arun Bhattacharya presided over the first meeting of the CAS implementation committee during the day. “It was only the first meeting of the panel comprising representatives from MSOs, broadcasters, cable operators, consumers and the government,” he said.
He added that all aspects of CAS were discussed at the meeting including the technical side and the number of set-top boxes required. It was also decided that cable operators would conduct a survey in the CMDA area on consumers’ requirements. Bhattacharya told panel members he had already urged broadcasters not to raise rates before CAS, adding that the ultimate decision on pricing lay with the pay channels and the state would not interfere in market mechanics.