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CAS Conundrum: TRAI to start another round of discussion among stakeholders through draft proposal

13-June-2006
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CAS Conundrum: TRAI to start another round of discussion among stakeholders through draft proposal

The Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) has come out with a draft proposal of Interconnect Agreements for CAS areas between broadcasters and Multi System Operators (MSOs) and between MSOs and local cable operators in view of the agreement among all stakeholders during their discussions with the government that TRAI should formulate a standard form of interconnect agreement in consultation with the stakeholders.

The discussion was held between the stakeholders and the I&B Ministry after the Delhi High Court directed the government to implement Conditional Access System (CAS) in the three metros of Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi on a petition filed by a group of MSOs.

The draft proposes that the subscription fee payable by broadcasters to the affiliate shall be calculated with reference to the MRP in respect of a channel or bouquet of channels or in respect of value added service/s. The actual revenue share percentages will be calculated after due consultation with the stakeholders.

Under the CAS regime, the individual subscriber will need to produce an identity proof like a utility bill or ration card, or voter’s identity card, or a credit card statement as proof of his address.

Cable Operators Federation of India, President, Roop Sharma, said, “The draft proposal is a step in the right direction. It is formulated very strictly and TRAI should not go back from it. We are in favour of ending the distributor system as it plays the role of middleman between the last mile cable operator and the MSOs and takes away the cream. We hope through this new system the last mile operator will receive his legitimate share of revenue.”

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