It is quite surprising that in a country where implementation of addressability (CAS) was held up in 2003, with the excuse that the public perception was against it as STBs were being forced on consumers to watch 'pay' channels, we are now forcing STBs on all consumers to watch 'pay' as well as Free-to-Air (FTA) channels. How has the situation changed within these seven years that we want even the poorest of the poor subscriber to buy a set-top-box to see his daily dose of entertainment from some FTA channels?
The Cable Act amendment passed in 2003 mandated all 'pay' channels to pass through an addressable system using a set-top-box whereas one did not require any gadget to see the basic package of FTA channels. The amendment was drafted after long discussions with the stake holders and the bill went through the Parliament just like the present Bill. However, the implementation was halted on flimsy grounds.