The Telecom Regulations Authority of India (TRAI) is exploring the option of allowing voluntary implementation of Conditional Access System in non-notified areas, following the success achieved in the notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. The broadcast regulator has formed a 15-member consultative panel to explore various options for the implementation of CAS in non-notified areas, said a TRAI official.
The committee consists of local cable operators, Multi System Operators, Direct-to-Home operators, members from consumers’ organisations, media experts and government officials. The next meeting is scheduled for March 30.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal is also hearing a case from Orissa for voluntary implementation of CAS on a plea filed by an MSO, Ortel. Ortel, which had decided to roll out CAS voluntarily and wanted ETV’s digital signals, has contended that it would provide signals of ETV to each subscriber who opted for the channel.
CAS, which was implemented in Chennai in 2003, came into force in the notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata from December 31, 2006, following orders for its implementation from the Delhi High Court.
The new system gives consumers a choice to pay for only those channels that they want, while it also provides a digital platform for delivery of television content. Under the CAS regime, a customer has to pay Rs five per channel.