Releasing the recommendations concerning the sharing of infrastructure in television broadcasting distribution sector today, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) suggested the central government to encourage the same on a voluntary basis wherever it was technically feasible. Going ahead, the regulator proposed permitting multi-system operators or MSOs to share “head-end used for TV services and transport streams transmitting signals of TV channels” voluntarily.
Appropriate amendments in the MSO registration conditions would have to be made to give effect to the same. “The HITS (Head-end-in-the-sky) operator and MSOs should be allowed to share the HITS platform, on voluntary basis, in flexible ways, for distribution of TV channels,” addedTRAI. The suggestion to allow distributors to share “common hardware for their Subscription Management System applications” is on similar lines.
TRAI’s recommendations come after a reference letter was sent to it by the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in April last year directing the regulator to examine the issue related to the sharing of infrastructure. “The sharing of the infrastructure in TV broadcasting distribution sector would not only help in enhancing available distribution network capacities but would also result in reduced Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and Operative Expenditure (OPEX) for the service providers thereby bringing down the price of broadcasting services to subscribers,” it noted.