Saturday, 1 September 2012

September 2012

1/9/12 -- The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology has strongly criticised the I&B Ministry for never having 'bothered' to monitor the implementation of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995, a central legislation.

Telcom operators won’t be able to charge extra for SMS or phone calls on special occasions

The customers would not have to pay extra charges for calls or SMSes beyond their existing tariff plans on festival days like Diwali and New Year, says a TRAI directive issued on Sep 14, 2012. 
"The charges for calls or SMSs on 'blackout' days shall not exceed the rate in the tariff plan in which the consumer is enrolled," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said. It needs to be clarified if the Blackout days have been mentioned in the plan the customer has enrolled for, those blackout days will stay till the plan period. 

Cloud Computing a new era

Cloud computing is the latest technology buzzword these days. Cloud computing directly links the data of the computer users with the World Wide Web. It enhances the computing experience, since users can access the same data from anywhere in the world. They don't need to worry about having their personal computers, or laptops with them. The computer users can store things online on the storage of the cloud servers they have access to. 

Hopes are being betrayed

All estimates of TRAI and Ministry regarding digitalisation are going haywire. First the deadline for the Phase I was shifted from 30 June to 31 October 2012. Then the timeline for signing `RIO agreements between broadcasters and the MSOs was shifted to 21 August. Nothing much has happened till now when the deadline is just 60 days away. Only Mumbai has achieved 50% of STB penetration. Other metros are just around 30%. This way it will be difficult to achieve the deadline of October 31st too. Moreover, not signing the RIOs is hampering further progress and TRAI is threatening to cancel the licenses of the MSOs who have not been able to sign them till now. 
One thing I can't understand, why is the Ministry not realising that the policy of compulsory digitalisation of cable TV is not the need of the day in India. Present delays are at the Broadcaster, MSO and LCO level only. Consumers are yet to face the heat of compulsory digitalisation. What if millions of people reject buying an STB even after the deadline? Will the government order their disconnection? How will the government get expected Tax revenue if there are no consumers? It is definitely a precarious situation.