Cable operators approach TRAI for redressal of grievances

Television screens in nearly 40 per cent of the households went blank on Thursday as signals of Multi-Service Operator (MSO) Hathway were switched off from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. by cable operators. The move affected television viewing in 10 lakh households, the customer base of Hathway.

Karnataka State Cable TV Operators’ Association on Thursday lodged a complaint with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) against Hathway.

The association alleged that Hathway was not providing the option of packaging to subscribers so that they can pick and choose the channels of their choice. And, the MSO has been delaying the interconnect agreement with Last-Mile Operators (LMO). Besides that there Set Top Boxes (STB) were not available in sufficient number.

Association president V.S. Patrick Raju said they met the Hathway officials in the city on Thursday. During the meeting, they were given a draft of the Interconnect Agreement between the MSO and LMOs, but it was one-sided. According to Mr. Raju, the final draft will be finalised after consultations. However, he was quick to add that all their grievances were not satisfactorily addressed.

Mr. Raju added that TRAI has assured them that the issue between the MSO and the LMOs would be resolved. So, the next course of action would be decided after waiting for the response from TRAI. A senior Hathway official in the city who did not wish to be named denied all allegations made against the company by cable operators. He said that the company was ready to implement packaging and had asked for customer choice data from the operators and that they were not forthcoming. He also added that there was no shortage of set-top boxes.

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