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Arasu Cable TV operations launched

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NEW INITIATIVE: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi inaugurating the digital control room of Arasu Cable TV Corporation in Thanjavur, through video conferencing from Chennai.
NEW INITIATIVE: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi inaugurating the digital control room of Arasu Cable TV Corporation in Thanjavur, through video conferencing from Chennai.

Special Correspondent

Government will provide one more chance for Local Cable Operators to register: Karunanidhi

CHENNAI: The State Government will provide one more chance for Local Cable Operators (LCOs) to get registered with Arasu Cable TV Corporation (ACTVC) to obtain digital feeds, and Multi-System Operators (MSOs) can also make use of this opportunity, said Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi here on Tuesday.

Inaugurating ACTVC’s Thanjavur digital control room through video conferencing, Mr. Karunanidhi said it would provide digital feeds to registered LCOs without bias. For others, one more chance would be given very soon. However, digital feeds would be given only to those who would abide by the rules and regulations of the Corporation.

“It is a new scheme that has not been introduced in any other State,” Mr. Karunanidhi said. ACTVC was started with the intention of providing quality service to the public at an affordable cost and not to increase the State’s revenue.

Since it was not possible to provide all the 300 pay channels, ACTVC had discussions with the broadcasters to relay around 70-80 prime channels. “While some of them have agreed to provide feeds, others have not yet given their consent. To get the feeds, we will proceed against them legally,” he said.

Having rolled out its services in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Tiruchi, Nagapattinam, Perambalur and Ariyalur, ACTVC will charge Rs. 100 per connection for relaying 60 channels.

However, the rates in Chennai might be more as it falls under the Conditional Access System.

Explaining the rationale for charging Rs.100 per connection, Mr. Karunanidhi said as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s directive ACTVC would collect Rs.77 for free-to-air channels and the balance for a few pay channels.

Currently, for the same 60 channels, the users were being charged between Rs.150 and Rs.300 by the LCOs, he pointed out.

“In Chennai, the users can get the services by paying Rs. 100 per connection or go in for set top boxes for which the rates are different. In any case, ACTVC will not charge more money from the public,” he said.

Information Technology Secretary C. Chandramouli said that it costs Rs.5.54 crore to set up a digital control room. Thomson had been given the mandate to set up digital rooms in Thanjavur, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli. Tandberg would set up the digital control room in Vellore.

Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathy and ACTVC chairman and managing director Brijeshwar Singh spoke.

The District Collectors of Thanjavur, Tiruchi, Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur spoke to the Chief Minister from the Thanjavur control room through video conferencing.

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