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Cable operators seek tariff review

By City Correspondent

GUWAHATI, Dec 26 - The Greater Guwahati Cable TV Operators� Association today urged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to revise the recently formulated tariff order for cable TV, DTH and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services in India, which is going to be implemented from December 29.

Commenting on the new tariff order, general secretary of the Association Swarupananda Bharali said, �In Guwahati, we have been doing the cable TV business for 25 years. But, our business will stop very soon, as the new tariff order would cause a heavy loss to us. At this moment, more than 250 cable operators are covering more than one lakh customers in Guwahati and the new tariff order will affect them all.�

The new tariff will not give any benefit to the customers; instead, it will increase the cost of cable TV viewing. The local cable operators are also going to be highly affected by the new order, as the TRAI has given a very little share of revenue to them, a statement from the Association added.

The general secretary said, �Along with the operators of other parts of India, we strongly oppose the new tariff order. Some unemployed educated youths started this business several years back and brought it up to this level. Now, if the new pattern of revenue share is implemented, approximately 35,000 people who are dependent on this business in Assam will be affected. Small operators, too, may have to close down their business very soon. So, it is our legitimate demand that TRAI should reconstruct the revenue share pattern and modify the whole system to lower the customer price.�

According to the Association, despite widespread protests across the country by cable TV operators, the government is going to implement the new tariff order with effect from December 29. All paid channels may be deactivated by the broadcasters on that day, although the free-to-air channels will continue.

The Association urged all customers to cooperate with their respective operators during this period of transition.

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