Our Bureau

New Delhi, March 21

In order to amend the interconnect regulations for broadcast and cable services, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper seeking views on issues related to piracy, transmission of signals and definition of multi-system operator (MSO).

TRAI had earlier said that no broadcaster or MSO could disconnect the TV channel signals without giving one-month notice. But if a distributor of a TV channel is retransmitting signals for which he/she is not authorised and thereby affecting the commercial interest of the broadcaster or MSO concerned, the notice period would be two working days.

Thus, two notice periods have been prescribed in the regulation. Also consumers are not aware of the discontinuation of signals, as these are not appropriately publicised. The regulator is seeking views on this.

TRAI has also said that the periodicity of revision of subscriber base is often a matter of dispute. At present, there is no mechanism/methodology to determine the increase or reduction in subscriber base.

It is also seeking to define MSO. "Whether any minimum threshold of the number of subscribers and other parameters should be specified for a Cable Operator to be defined as a Multi System Operator and for being entitled to receive signals directly from broadcasters," it has asked.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 22, 2006)
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