Govt keen to make CAS mandatory, says Dasmunsi

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New Delhi, Apr 16 (UNI) Minister of Information and Broadcasting P R Dasmunsi today said the Government was keen to make it mandatory for the television-viewers to use the Conditional Access System (CAS).

CAS has been implemented in some areas of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, but the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended the extension of CAS in the remaining areas of three metros on a mandatory basis, he said.

''The Government is favourably inclined to speed up the process of digitalisation and introduction of addressability by extending the CAS notified areas,'' Mr Dasmunsi told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a question.

'' However, we want it to be done in a manner which adequately protects consumer interest and leads to his empowerment.

The details of further extension were being finalised, but no time limits could be given on such policy issues,'' he said.

At present, the Ministry was in the process of evaluating the implementation of CAS in three metros and Chennai metro area, the Minister said.

The TRAI had also forwarded a report of the Group formed of members from different segments of the broadcasting and cable sector to suggest options and roadmap for voluntary introduction of CAS and digitalisation in cable television in the country on voluntary-cum-mandatory basis.

The Group had recommended a voluntary-cum-mandatory approach to introduction of CAS in fifty five cities which include all the cities with a million plus population.

The issues arising out of the implementation of CAS in the first phase and the strategies to be evolved for its smooth and successful implementation in the next phases of implementation were discussed by Secretary, Ministry of information and Broadcasting in a meeting on April 8 of the officials of the state government concerned, TRAI, Nodal Officers and various stakeholders including consumers, he said.

TRP: In order to examine the issue of the Television Rating Points (TRP) system which measures the popularity of channels, the Government has solicited recommendations of TRAI for formulation of policy guidelines, so as to bring greater transparency into it, the Minister said in reply to another question.

There is no proposal to call the meeting of different stakeholders on the issue before finalising new TRP system, he said.

UNI NAZ SP HT1932

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