New Delhi: The union government today said it will assess the popularity and success of conditional access system (CAS) before extending it to non-metro cities.
In its communication to the state governments, the Information and Broadcasting ministry has asked the state government to give their feedback on success of CAS in their respective cities.
“We have asked the state governments to conduct a technical audit of the existing CAS areas and get back to us,” a senior ministry official told PTI.
The exercise is “being done to know the situation on the ground and whether the subscriber is satisfied with the service or not”, the official said.
At present CAS is fully operational in Chennai homes. It is partially operational in notified areas of Delhi and Kolkata. The remaining areas are covered by DTH or cable operators.
The sources said since the ministry has received a number of views against and for CAS vis-a-vis DTH and cable services, it has decided to find if the system has really been successful in the areas of these non-metro cities where it has been partially implemented.
The official added that after collecting the information from respective state governments, the ministry will further formulate its plan to implement CAS.
“It is basically empowering the subscriber. We should know what he likes before it is thrust on him,” the official said.
“Most of these non-metro cities are only partially covered by CAS. We will go ahead implementing in the rest only after we find it is successful in that particular city,” he said.
“For that we have also requested the state government to hire private technical consultants, if the need be, to conduct an accurate assessment,” he added.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is also conducting a study of the quality of infrastructure provided by cable operators with respect to CAS.
The cable operators had come under TRAI scrutiny after complaints of poor quality and non-availability of channels selected by subscribers.
They have installed more than 5.12 lakhs set top boxes (STBs) for providing CAS service in various cities across the country.
To assess the implementation of ‘Quality of Service´ norms, TRAI has engaged Broadcast Consultant India Limited (BECIL), to carry out an audit of performance in CAS-notified areas.