The Government has proposed to make it mandatory for television viewers to use Conditional Access System (CAS). CAS has been implemented in the notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The Government is now in the process of evaluating the implementation of CAS in the three metros and Chennai metro area.
Information & Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi in a statement said, “TRAI has recommended the extension of CAS in the balance area of the three metros on a mandatory basis. TRAI has 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 a voluntary-cum-mandatory basis.”
“The Group has recommended a voluntary-cum-mandatory approach to introduction of CAS in 55 cities, which include all the cities with million-plus population, some cities located in the proximity of the cities to the existing CAS, and it has also included all State capitals, which could not come under any of the above criteria. Recommendations of the Group are being deliberated,” Dasmunsi added.
The Government is favourably inclined to speed up the process of digitalisation and introduction of addressability by extending CAS notified areas. The Government also wants it to be done in a manner which adequately protects consumer interest and leads to his empowerment. The details of further extension are being finalised. No time limits could be given on such policy issues.