Cable TV operators of Tiruchi district are likely to gradually switch over to the Arasu Cable TV Corporation's network over the next 10 days. Though a control room of the Arasu Cable, set up during the previous DMK regime, is functioning near the railway junction in the city, a majority of cable operators in the city are yet to join the network. There were about 350 to 400 cable operators in the district.

While cable operators welcome the revival of the Arasu Cable TV Corporation, they have been entertaining certain misgivings. One of the major concerns for cable TV operators was the absence of popular pay channels in the government network.

Operators feel that they would be in for trouble if they opted for the government network without channels popular with women and children. These apart, the network should have major English news and Hindi channels to meet the demand in Tiruchi, they said.

Cable operators say that they have been asked to lay their own optic fibre cable network to get the connection from the Arasu Cable TV Corporation control room. This many said would involve high costs, especially for operators in the suburbs of the city.

However, sources in the Tiruchi District Cable TV Operators Association said that operators, at an emergency meeting of the association held on Wednesday, agreed to lay the cable at their cost though it is normally provided by the multi-system operator.

“We had decided to collect money among ourselves and lay the cables. We had problems in getting the cable, but now an agency has assured us to supply the cables over the next couple of days. We could complete the process of laying the cables within a week to 10 days,” an office bearer of the association told The Hindu.

Some operators feel that the Arasu Cable TV Corporation should have quality infrastructure and manpower. Quality modulators and nodes were essential so that they did not face any problems in receiving quality signal, once they joined the government network.

“Apart from this, it is also important that government network gets the popular pay channels. We hope that the government take necessary steps for this within the next 10 days,” the office bearer said.

Cable operators also want the government to increase the monthly subscription of Rs.70 fixed by the government. With Rs.20 going to the government, operators would be left with just Rs.50 per connection. Given the operational cost and other overheads, the subscription fixed by the government would not be remunerative, operators said.