In a directive given by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, MSOs have been given further guidelines regarding quality of service norms to be practiced by both the sides.
In its guidelines, the regulator has also asked broadcasters of pay channels to reduce the number of terms and conditions of the interconnection agreement and that every broadcaster of pay channel needs to enter into a written agreement with the Multi-System Operator (MSO).
The direction stated, “It shall be mandatory for broadcasters of pay channels to reduce the terms and conditions of the interconnection agreements into writing and no broadcaster of pay channels shall make available signals of TV channels to any multi-system operator without entering into a written interconnection agreement.”
The directive published on the TRAI website was given as a direction to Multi-System Operators (MSOs) under section 13, read with sub-clauses (i) and (v) of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 11, of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 and regulation 8 of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Digital Addressable Cable Television Systems) Regulation, 2012 (No. 9 of 2012).
The regulator has asked the MSOs to submit within 10 days of the date of issue of the directive of the copy each of the interconnection agreement entered into by it with the broadcaster for retransmission of channel of the broadcaster in its cable TV network in DAS notified areas. The regulator had instructed the MSOs to enter into interconnection agreements with the broadcasters in 2012 as well.
118 MSOs were directly addressed in the notification, which has been published on December 13, 2013. The regulator further stated, “The Authority may, in order to protect the interest of the consumer or service provider or to promote and ensure orderly growth of the broadcasting and cable sector or for monitoring and ensuring compliance of these regulations, by order or direction, intervene, from time to time.”