With its full net-over-cable infrastructure yet
to be put in place, Sun Cable Vision (SCV), the cable TV division of Sumangali
Publications Ltd that owns the Sun TV regional channels, has decided to piggy back on the
infrastructure laid out by Hathway Cable & Datacom.
Hathway Cable rolled out its net-over-cable service in the city some time back and
has laid more than 50 kms. of hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) cables.
Both, Mr. Kalanithi Maran, chairman and managing director, Sumangali
Publications and Mr. E.V.S. Chakravarthy, vice president, Hathway Cable confirmed the new
development, though no formal agreement is understood to have been signed between the two
According to Mr. Chakravarty, the cost-revenue sharing between them and
other things are yet to be worked out. "We are just extending our earlier agreements
with SCV. While we get the TV signals from SCV, they in turn use our net
infrastructure,". he added.
SCV, it is learnt, is using Hathways infrastructure just to test its
service, systems and equipment and is expected to go the whole hog with investments once
the tests results are proved to be satisfactory. The division has wired several houses in
Chennai located in densely as well as sparsely populated areas.
It may be recalled, both players had earlier demarcated their area of
operations for their cable TV distributions business. (see ).
SCV, after scrapping the MoU with Mahanagar Telephone
Nigam Ltd (MTNL) for the Internet venture, (see Sun TV-MTNL net over cable deal to be
scrapped) has decided to go it alone now. For SCV a tie up with MTNL is not much of a
benefit as the latter offers dial up Internet access.
It is learnt that SCV would take at least six months to
roll out its full-fledged Internet services. The long delay is to make sure every system
works properly, to deliver not only internet but also value added service like video on
demand, video conferencing and voice over IP. Further SCV wants some time for its cable
operators to upgrade their network.
to a SCV affiliated cable operator, the additional investment
needed per point or internet subscriber is around Rs.1,500
to upgrade the system and install two-way amplifiers.
If necessary the operators have to lay new cable to deliver
Internet on television as well on the computer.
Interestingly, unlike Hathway Cable, which invested its
funds in laying new cables to deliver internet, it is
SCV cable operators who have to fund the additional investment
and act as a collection agent for internet subscriptions
in exchange for a 10 per cent commission.
The other probable reason for SCV delaying its net services is that ensuing elections
in the State. The division doesn''t want to risk additional investments (Rs 5 - 6 crore per
city) without knowing the future political equations.
Be that as it may, as per the plans, SCV will be targeting households, software
companies and small office and home office segments for business. In the second year of
net operations, SCV will start selling set top boxes so that the web can be accessed
also see : Hathways signs peace pact with
Sumangali Cable Vision