CAS proving to be a bane to consumers: study; cable ops refute claim

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (UNI) More than a technological boon the Conditional Access System (CAS) has proved to be a bane for South Delhi consumers, with 70 per cent of them rejecting the system to opt for the 'friendly' cable operator, according to a study.

A recent survey by the Voluntary Organisation in Interest of Consumer Education (VOICE) came out with this startling fact, with more than half feeling that CAS had led to an extra burden on them than the earlier existing system, said Bejon Mishra, Executive Director, VOICE.

''Another fact that gives the CAS a thumbs down is that 35 per cent cable TV viewers receive pirated signals through unauthorised subscriptions and an equal number was dissatisfied with the compliant redressal system.'' On the other hand, representatives of cable operators in the city dubbed the 'study' as not true on facts.

Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI) president Roop Sharma said the study catered to the interests of a certain section who lost clientele with the introduction of CAS.

Refuting this, Mr Bejon Mishra stressed that his study was not a bid to trash the very concept of CAS except that he wanted it only after a system to monitor and regulate it was put in place.

''CAS is not bad except for the mechanism which regulates it, as it left a large chunk of users dissatisfied. We just want that the government freeze its implementation until a well oiled mechanism to regulate it was in place.'' Besides, under the present dispensation the government's share of tax remained unpaid, which was causing a loss to the state exchequer, he said.

Seeking immediate capacity building mechanism as mandated by law to be put in place, a blitz on educating consumers be launched, improving quality of service and putting a freeze on its implementation in other areas until a sound mechanism was put forth, the VOICE chief said his group stood for informed choice for consumers and technology which was consumer-friendly.

Meanwhile, Mr Sharma alleged that the 'study' was a sponsored one, and that too by a channel which was a losing party in the new dispensation where CAS had been launched.

''The study was sponsored by the losers, who saw loss of revenue with the launch of the CAS,'' she claimed.


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