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TRAI asks broadcasters and MSO to sign interconnect agreement before providing signals

04-November-2015
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TRAI asks broadcasters and MSO to sign interconnect agreement before providing signals

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released the draft Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Digital Addressable Cable Television Systems) (Sixth Amendment) Regulations 2015, after comments from stakeholders.

TRAI highlighted the issue about signing of interconnection agreement between broadcasters and MSOs. The draft stated, “It has been observed from the Interconnection details submitted by the service providers that signals of TV channels are being provided by several broadcasters to Multi System Operators (MSOs) and MSOs to Local Cable Operators (LCOs) even in the absence of Interconnection -agreement in writing. It has also been observed that continuation of retransmission of signal without valid interconnection agreement, on the pretext of continued mutual negotiations, often results into disputes and sometimes abrupt disconnection which affects the quality of service to the consumers.”

Another area of concern brought to the notice of the Authority was regarding the effective date of applicability of new agreements i.e. whether the new agreement should apply from the date of entering into the new agreement or from the date of expiry of earlier agreement. It not only results in complaints, but also disputes between service providers.

Therefore, the present regulations which provide scope for mutual negotiations even after expiry of the agreement has been reviewed so that no signal can be provided after expiry of the interconnection agreement between the service providers. Accordingly, it has been proposed to amend the regulation 5 of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Digital Addressable Cable Television Systems) Regulations 2012.

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