Cable goes blank as MSOs fight
The bitter rivalry between the multi-system operators (MSOs) has once again robbed the cable subscribers of watching channels. While the MSOs instigated their men to cut cable wires of the rival?s, the subscribers kept switching on/off their TV set only to find it blank in the last 24 hours.Updated: Apr 02, 2006 00:47 IST
The bitter rivalry between the multi-system operators (MSOs) has once again robbed the cable subscribers of watching channels. While the MSOs instigated their men to cut cable wires of the rival’s, the subscribers kept switching on/off their TV set only to find it blank in the last 24 hours.
The rivalry has caused widespread anguish among the citizens. The latest round of cable cutting began after cable operators of one MSO switched over to another.
In Bhopal, owners of two newspapers – Dainik Bhaskar and Raj Express, run two MSOs – Raj TV and Btv. Earlier, the rivalry between two MSOs – SEE TV and OTG had resulted in massive cable cutting in the City.
Now, these MSOs have shut down their operations in the City. Only SEE TV is providing its services through Btv. According to reports, cable TV was operational only in 20 per cent City areas during the past 24 hours.
In some of the areas, Btv is providing its signals through Airtel lines. Services in these areas continued despite the cable cutting.
It is learnt there was also dispute between cable operators and a MSO over providing direct connections to consumers. Cable operators too stopped their services in protest of this development.
Meanwhile, a meeting of operators and representatives of rival MSOs was also organised in presence of ADM, Additional Superintendent of Police and other officials this afternoon.
When asked, ADM, MB Ojha told Hindustan Times it was suggested that both MSOs would be free to set up their system and operators in the City.
Ojha said citizens should have options of MSOs. Although cable operators agreed during the meeting, they held on the issue of more than one operator in one area. After the meeting at Mayur Park, president of Cable Operators Association, Virendra Singh Chauhan said this would lead to more disputes.
So, the present system of one operator should continue. Asked about cable cutting, Chauhan said this resulted in the fight for supremacy among the MSOs.
Cable operation in most parts of the City is likely to be streamlined by Sunday morning. According to reports, the work for connecting snapped wires started after the intervention of the administration and cable operators association.
According to office-bearers of Cable Operators Association, the MSOs have assured that there would be no cable cutting in the City now.
‘Service disruption punishable under IPC’
EMINENT LAWYER Ajay K Mishra says providing uninterrupted services to consumers is a prime responsibility of any service provider and if it is not met, it tantamounts to criminal offence.
Complaints regarding interruption in cable services have been lodged with the police and it should act according to law in this matter. Disruption in service amounts to deficiency in service, which is also punishable under the IPC.
Besides, any individual consumer or group of consumers may file a case in Consumer Forum seeking damages from service providers for disruption of services.
“Consumers can not be taken for granted and there are safeguards in both the criminal law and Consumer Protection Act to ensure uninterrupted service to them in matters such as cable service,” he asserted.
First Published: Apr 02, 2006 00:47 IST