It is shocking to see how biased and insensitive our television media can be. A suicide by a small cable operators has not even received a mention or discussed and debated by our over ambitious broadcasters who go out of the way to hype or downplay an event depending on what benefits they accrue from it. If it increases TRPs or they get good money for it, it is hyped to no extent meaninglessly, even if it is against the ethical norms. On the other hand, if it hurts their own business or harms the interest of the owners, it will just not be taken up.
Last month we saw some striking examples ; Jassi, a cable operator committed suicide in front of many prominent judges and media honchos but no one took up his case in the news whereas, a suicide in an AAP rally became a national issue and everyone including the media and politicians took its advantage. Also another incident of death of a teenage girl who was molested and thrown out of a bus in Punjab along with her mother was discussed and debated for days together, demanding the arrest of the owners of the transport company, who happen to be from the ruling Akali Dal. Incidentally, the same person owned the MSO company, blamed by Jassi for ruining his business that lead to his suicide.
Last month, TRAI gave its recommendations on delivering broadband quickly and mentioned Cable TV networks as playing an important role in the process. I wonder why it failed to recognise the importance of Cable TV infrastructure while recommending implementation of DAS where it only wanted all TV channels to reach the consumers, leaving the cable operators to fight for their own survival.
Another issue taken up by TRAI last month, that rocked the nation was the question of Net Neutrality in the context of provision of OTT services on telecom networks. TRAI received more than 10 million responses to its consultation, criticising it for taking up the issue for the benefit of large telecom companies and not in favour of consumers.
In another Tariff order issued by TRAI last month, it has tried to bring some kind of interoperability in the DTH services but allowed ‘activation fee’ for installing STBs, that was banned in the earlier tariff order.
One good news for consumers and LCOs is that the tariff order of TRAI that allowed 27.5% hike in Cable TV subscriptions in Non DAS areas has been set aside by TDSAT. More than 20 appellants and impleaders had appealed against the tariff hike considered irrelevant when the whole nation is digitising in the next two years.
Much is being talked about ‘Digital India’ in the government quarters but there doesn’t seem to be any action on the ground. Indian STB manufacturers are still struggling to compete with the imported products and there are no takers in the country.