Independent TV Customers Unable to Access Website to Claim Refund, DTH Operator Yet to Resume Operations

Independent TV has been in a tough spot over the last month or so as the company stopped providing services to the customers. Antrix Corporation, the satellite signal provider to Independent TV stopped serving the operator over an issue related to payment. Later on, both the parties had multiple court sessions during which the court approved re-connection of Satellite Signals for Independent TV. Right after the court order, Independent TV stated that it would resume services very soon and also refund the amount back to the consumers who faced issues during the last month. Independent TV said that the customers can visit its website to claim the refund, however, it has now come to our notice that the customers are unable to access the website of Independent TV which is irking them right now.

Independent TV to Start Receiving Signals Again

In its latest tweet, Independent TV has noted, “Courts have approved re-connection of satellite signals for Independent TV. Due processes are underway for compliance with relevant Govt department directions. We expect our services to resume in the next 6-7 days. We regret the inconvenience being caused till then.” It is worth noting that the reason why Independent TV had faced disconnection was that it had failed to pay its dues to Antrix Corporation. After the lapse of the date when payments were dues, Antrix decided to encash the relevant bank guarantees and disconnected the signal for Independent TV thus leaving the subscribers of the DTH company in the dark.

To re-establish the signal from Antrix, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had directed Independent TV to furnish either bank guarantees worth Rs 12 crore or Rs 5.83 crore in combination with Rs 6 crore worth of bank guarantees. Back in June, Antrix Corporation, which is actually the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), had decided to disconnect the signal on June 12. It was after this that Antrix Corporation encashed bank guarantees worth Rs 15 crore.

The Struggle Between Antrix and Independent TV

After this development, the ailing DTH operator reached out to the telecom tribunal and asked the tribunal to direct Antrix for resuming signal. Along with this, Independent TV also put forth a demand for a long term lease agreement since the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has given it the required license for the same. Since the MIB had asked Independent TV to finish paying up the demanded dues or the bank guarantees by July 6, it is likely that the government authorities mentioned in the tweet refer to the same and Independent TV has furnished the bank guarantees to again start receiving the signal from Antrix.

Whereas on the topic of the long-term lease agreement, the MIB has said that the negotiations for the same would take some time. Also, Antrix Corporation’s counsel had remarked that the furnishing of bank guarantees would ensure no disconnection in the next month as well for Independent TV, thus making it the most appropriate option for the DTH provider.