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Trai-Media Partners report favours mandatory CAS

04-June-2004
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Trai-Media Partners report favours mandatory CAS

Hong Kong-based research firm Media Partners Asia favours introduction of the conditional access system (CAS) in a selective way, according to industry sources. Media Partners, which was commissioned to do a study on CAS by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), is not against the government mandating the system, sources added. Interestingly, when this Hong Kong firm had done an independent study on CAS a year ago, it was against a mandatory conditional access system.

Trai chairman Pradip Baijal, however, told eFE that the Media Partners report has discussed “both options”. He added: “There’s no single answer to this” (on whether to make CAS mandatory). When asked to clarify the Trai stand on CAS, Mr Baijal said: “I can’t say (which way CAS will go). The issues are far too complex.”

Trai officials, who are dealing with CAS, refused to div-ulge the details of the Media Partners study, saying “it’s an internal report”. Trai, which was given the additional resp-onsibility of the broadcasting sector a few months ago, plans to roll out CAS recommendations in July. It will be up to the government, after that, on whether to introduce CAS.

Media Partners, in both the reports, favours a trial run of CAS, limiting it to a one-city roll initially. Also, CAS has been found to be technically sound by the media and publishing firm, in both the reports. But it had pointed out, in its earlier report one year ago, that mandatory CAS implementation would adversely impact consumer demand and weaken the fundamentals of the country’s entertainment sector.

Meanwhile, government may not like to introduce CAS as a mandatory system any longer, after it got into a messy situation last year.

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