YOU Telecom, a Citigroup Venture Capital funded leading Cable Broadband operator, is setting up YOU Academy, country's first training centre for cable broadband to train cable TV operators and their technicians, in Pune, Maharashtra. The first of its kind in the country, this Academy proposes to train the cable TV operators, technicians from broadband and video fields, and other related professionals for technological proficiency and service efficiency.

Says EVS Chakravarthy, CEO, YOU Telecom," The cable Broadband sector is all set to take a quantum jump in its service dimension. Apart from high-speed data, analogue & digital video and Voice over IP, the industry will soon witness emergence of ‘On Demand’ services in the digital format. Customers will embrace interactivity, just in time, any time you want kind of services, breaking the current trend of linear delivery. All this will require upgrading the skill set of employees, franchisees and their technicians on an on going basis. YOU Academy will play a crucial role in equipping our employees and partners in the value chain to finally deliver a world class service to our consumers”.

Indeed, with digitization and convergence being the order of the day, the cable TV industry is undergoing a sea change. In fact, most cable operators have started providing digital signals through cable. The TRAI policies are rapidly encouraging the convergence of voice, video and data through broadband cable services. The cable operators in the country have already
started realizing the importance of sprucing up their levels of expertise,
knowledge and service standards.

Says CTO of YOU Telecom, A K Sekhar "YOU Academy will not only train the candidates in technical proficiency, it will also focus on enhancing the softer skills by educating the cable operator and his team about their critical role in customer interaction”.

The digital cable services have exploded at a phenomenal rate. Some 78 odd million homes in the country have their TV connection through cable and over 11 million Internet subs have already been set up in India. However, the dearth of qualified and trained cable operators is becoming conspicuous by the frequent network disturbances experienced over prolonged periods of time, resulting in customer dissatisfaction.

The academy is being set up with an initial investment of INR 5 million that will house a full service training unit with the latest technologies prevalent in the industry. "Our focus is to increase the skill sets of people ranging from technicians to senior engineers in the HFC, Digital cable, interactive Video services and IP Telephony. We also plan to run training sessions for sales and other non-technical functions," adds Chakravarthy.

The centre will initially cater to YOU Telecom’s in house teams, but will soon expand to reach out to the other operators and technicians as well. The training will involve an exposure to the fundamentals as well as the intricacies of cable broadband operations, and transmission. The Academy already boasts of having trained around 150 in house technicians, and is looking at increasing that number in the subsequent months.