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Breaking News : Arasu Cable application is still to be cleared
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The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) to come up with measures and draft rules to check the monopoly prevalent in the cable TV sector.
The announcement comes in the wake of II phase of didgitisation that the country is entering into. “I have requested the ministry to make a reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as to how do we ensure that monopolies do not continue to subsist in the market because monopolies are the anti-thesis of choice,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said.

"We do not want to do salami slicing at our end. We would like TRAI to look at the sector holistically," Tewari said when asked if cross-media holdings will also be considered as "monopolies." Responding to a question on geographical monopolies, Tewari said that the ministry was trying to create a "transparent architecture" that would allow consumers a wider choice of channels and were not looking at a particular state. He added that there were sectoral caps in all sectors, including telecom.

Interestingly, the reference to TRAI comes in the backdrop of the government holding back issuance of a DAS (digital addressable system) licence to Tamil Nadu government-owned MSO Arasu Cable. Arasu applied for a licence in July but its application is still to be cleared. In Punjab, PTC Network is a dominant player while Ortel is a powerful local MSO in Orissa.

-MM
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