CAS lies low on demand, supply

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 8.12.06

The rollout is from the first day of the new year. The level of preparedness is certainly not up to the mark.

Yet, there is no supply crunch in sight — thanks to the low demand for conditional access system (CAS) till now.

This was made clear at a meeting on Thursday to assess the preparedness of multi- system operators (MSOs) with regard to the January 1 debut.

CAS — the system that empowers the viewer to choose his channels and pay for them — will roll simultaneously in Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta.

Information and cultural secretary Dilip Chakraborty met seven city MSOs on Thursday to take stock of CAS.

“The MSOs have readied a supply of set-top boxes but if there’s a simultaneous demand from all households, they will have a problem delivering. Since the boxes are imported, they take eight weeks to arrive after an order is placed. Also, we are yet to work out who will carry out the fittings of the boxes in the households,” admitted Chakraborty.

For phase one of CAS implementation in town, Alipore, New Alipore, Behala, Chetla, Budge Budge, Garden Reach, parts of Thakurpukur, Tollygunge, Haridevpur and Mahestala have been earmarked.

The MSOs were sure of supply matching demand. “According to estimates, television viewership in this belt is around 2.8 lakh households. Our survey indicates that only 30 to 35 per cent households here want this facility,” said Mrinal Chatterjee of Kolkata Cable and Broadband Pariseva.

Test signals for CAS in these areas will start from December 16, he added. MSOs engaged in the CAS rollout are Manthan Broadband, Cablecom, Indian Cablenet, Siticable, Shrishti, and Kolkata Cable and Broadband Pariseva.