Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has warned all the MSOs (multisystem operators) in India to provide signals of TV channels to LCOs only with written interconnection agreements, failing which stern action will be taken against them as per provisions of the TRAI Act.
According to its statement, the Telecommunication Interconnection Regulations 2012 requires that no MSO shall make available signals of TV channels to any linked local cable operator without entering into a written interconnection agreement and the MSO shall handover a copy of the interconnection agreement signed by MSO and LCO to the respective LCO within 15 days and obtain an acknowledgment thereof.
TRAI has also notified formats of the Model Interconnection Agreement (MIA) and Standard Interconnection Agreement (SIA) to be signed between MSOs and LCOs, so that there is a level playing field and less disputes between MSOs and LCOs. While MIA enables MSO and LCO to have a mutual agreement in a structured manner in line with the regulatory framework, the SIA provides standard terms and conditions prescribed by the regulation that can be adopted by MSOs and LCOs for retransmission of TV signal, if they fail to mutually agree on MIA.
The issue was triggered after TRAI came to know that some MSOs are alluring LCOs to provide signal without entering into written interconnection agreement.