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DAS Phase III: After Telangana, Andhra Pradesh gets stay

MUMBAI: A day after granting stay for Telangana, the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad has stayed the implementation of digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III in Andhra Pradesh for two months.

The AP MSOs Welfare Federation had moved the HC seeking extension of DAS deadline in Andhra Pradesh due to paucity of set-top boxes (STBs).

As per the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting’s (MIB) fourth updated list on urban areas covered under DAS Phase III, there are 20,58,675 TV households in Andhra Pradesh covering 13 districts.

Earlier, the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad, which is the common court for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, had stayed DAS implementation in Telangana for two months. While extending the deadline, the HC had directed the MIB to file its reply in the matter.

There are 860,618 TV households to be covered in Telangana in DAS Phase III across nine districts.

Another petition filed by Indore-based Om Systems is pending before the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The petitioner had challenged Section 4A of Cable Television Networks Regulation Act 1995 besides seeking a stay on digitisation in Phase III areas of Madhya Pradesh.

When the matter came up for hearing on 23 December, the HC acceded to the Union government’s request and granted it two weeks to file its reply. It also issued a notice to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to file its reply in the matter. The case will come up for hearing on 22 January.

Earlier, the Bombay High Court had refused to postpone DAS Phase III deadline in Maharashtra while directing LCOs and MSOs to execute draft model standard interconnection agreements within two days.

The Madras High Court, on the other hand, had ordered the MIB to maintain status quo by allowing Arasu Cable TV Corporation to provide analogue signals in Tamil Nadu until 6 January, which is the next date of hearing.

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