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TRAI asks DTH operators to allow interoperability of STBs

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TRAI asks DTH operators to allow interoperability of STBs

Rahul Khullar, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has stressed on making set top boxes (STBs) interoperable for the end consumer commercially and technically. Speaking at an open house discussion with stakeholders regarding DTH licence, Khullar told the DTH operators that viewers should have an option to use the same set top box if they want to change their service provider. If operators find it difficult to make the STB interoperable, then viewers should be given an option to change the STBs to operators in exchange for cash, he added.

The open house was held by TRAI in order to close the final discussions regarding DTH licence.

It may be recalled that the regulatory authority had released a consultation paper on extension of DTH licence on October 3, 2013. The matter comes under TRAI’s umbrella as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had sent a reference letter to TRAI on September 30, asking about the terms and conditions for extension of DTH licence on expiry of the 10-year period.

The matter came to light when Dish TV’s licence got over this year in October. The key issues discussed in the consultation paper pertain to entry fee, bank guarantee and licence fee.

Khullar further said, “All stakeholders need to send their comments by Friday, December 13, 2013.” He turned down stakeholders’ requests for more time to send in their comments.

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