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Arasu Cable’s broadband and cable TV initiatives

MUMBAI: Broadband is getting a boost in Tamil Nadu. In order to expand internet service connectivity, state-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation has given the green signal to more than 170 companies to go ahead and start the service after receiving over 300 applications.

The Tamil Nadu state government expects to provide the internet service to about 24,750 households under this initiative.

Arasu had floated expression of interest to become business partners on revenue sharing basis.

It may be recalled that the government had floated a special purpose vehicle (SPV) ‘Tamil Nadu FiberNet Corporation’ to implement the “Internet to every HouseHold” scheme launched by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2011.

Arasu Cable TV Corporation selected telecom major Vodafone under the open tender process.

Currently, 2,577 subscribers use the leased line internet connectivity.

“In order to expand the internet service, Arasu Cable TV floated the Expression of Interest to become business partners on revenue sharing basis and about 392 applications were received,” PTI quoted the IT department policy note as stating.

“Orders were issued to 170 applicants for starting the internet service and about 24,750 households are expected to be provided with the internet service under this initiative”, the note said.

For providing IPTV service, a detailed project report was under preparation for its rollout.

For implementing cable TV digitisation, Arasu floated a global tender in May this year to procure 60 lakh standard and 10 lakh high definition set-top boxes.

“Tenders have been received from various companies and are being scrutinised. The STBs will be procured and delivered at the earliest,” PTI quoted the IT department note as stating.

With the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) granting provisional digital addressable system (DAS) licence, Arasu became the first state-owned MSO in the country to have one.

Arasu’s cable TV subscribers has risen to 70.52 lakh as of 1 May this year, compared to 4.94 lakh in 2011.

The note also referred to the supply of free laptops to students, one of the flagship schemes of the ruling AIADMK, saying that it planned to supply 5.16 lakh laptops in the current fiscal.

In 2015-16, the government has distributed 5.19 lakh laptops to students, the note added.