Anuradha ShettyJul 12, 2013 18:40:14 IST
After the initial hullabaloo surrounding the process of digitisation, all focus seems to have now shifted to the new task at hand – filling up CAFs or consumer application forms. After messages started suddenly popping up on TV screens, began the scramble to get these forms submitted before the stipulated deadline.
Cable TV viewers are currently being urged to submit their duly-filled CAFs to their local cable operators before the last date (July 25 in Mumbai), or face a blackout. Consumer application forms include details like the name of the subscriber, their residential address, set-top box number, customer account number, et al. The details cable TV subscribers like you and I submit via these forms are then entered into the MSO's subscriber management system (SMS). These details prove useful when the government has to ascertain the number of DAS subscribers in the country.
CAF is the new buzzword (Image credit: Getty Images)
Customers can avail these forms from their local cable operators and submit it to them once they are duly filled. In case of any doubts regarding the details in the form, customers can contact their operators on their helpline numbers.
In an attempt to get subscribers to understand the importance of submitting these details on time, multi-system operators, at the behest of TRAI, began carrying out blackouts for brief periods.
Another part to this is the channel request form. Along with their CAFs, subscribers are also required to submit their list of channel preferences to their operators and then pay for only those channels which they have opted for. Subscribers can either opt for any one of their existing packs or give their operators their list of channels. Any additions or alterations can be done to this list at any point.
Incidentally, after the initial drive of digitisation was over in Delhi, it was found that although some households had opted for STBs there, the SMS itself had not been maintained that well. Officials with TRAI said that one of the reasons why SMS was not maintained effectively was that only 20 percent of the subscribers in Delhi had filled these CAFs. It was then that the government directed MSOs to conduct brief blackouts, so as to get subscribers to submit these necessary details.
Pick your form today! (Image credit: Getty Images)
Twenty-two lakh cable TV subscribers in Mumbai now have time until July 25 to duly fill up their consumer application forms (CAFs), following a deadline extension by TRAI. If subscribers fail to complete their CAFs by then, they may be subject to a "small-screen" blackout. TRAI reportedly had to extend the deadline for Mumbai after it received a poor response from cable TV subscribers here.
Cable TV subscribers in India are aplenty. It wouldn’t be entirely wrong to say that the “idiot box” is one of the devices known to have penetrated pretty much every income group in the country. With the advent of digitisation, however, the face of cable TV in India is changing.
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