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TRAI introduces technical framework to tackle content piracy in broadcast sector

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 12, 2021

Implementation of this framework will prevent content piracy of TV channels and under-reporting of subscriber base

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has introduced a technical framework for conditional access system (CAS) and subscriber management system (SMS) for the cable and broadcast sector.

The regulator said implementation of this framework will be the first step towards standardisation, will prevent content piracy of TV channels and under-reporting of subscriber base by cable operators.

CAS enables digital mode of transmission in encrypted form so that consumers can only access TV channel signals through a set-top-box. The amended interconnections regulation aims to introduce a testing and certification regime for CAS and SMS to streamline the distribution network for Cable TV.

In a statement, TRAI said that despite the digitisation of cable TV in India it has been getting complaints from industry players about unauthorized distribution of signals and under-reporting of the number of subscribers. “Sub-standard CAS and SMS also render the distribution network vulnerable to hacking and content piracy,” it said.

According to TRAI, the framework is the, “first step to define an indigenous set of specifications in the line of international standards. A tightly synchronised working of CAS and SMS, as specified by the framework, will enable factual reporting of subscriber base etc. This will reduce the revenue loss to stakeholders on account of erroneous subscription reporting. Better assurance of due revenue, in turn, may encourage the stakeholders to invest for further improvement in quality of content and service thereby benefiting the end consumer.”

Content security

The telecom and broadcast regulator said the framework will usher-in better content security in the distribution value chain. This, in turn, shall give confidence to the global content developer community and will pave the way for increased availability of better quality, high-definition content to Indian television viewers.

It added that the framework will be implemented through a testing and certification agency and will ensure end-to-end compliance and reduce litigation among service providers.

Distribution platform operators will need to obtain certification for their CAS and SMS systems from the certification and testing agency.

Published on June 11, 2021

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