The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday instructed all broadcasters and distribution platform operators to implement the provisions of register of interconnection agreements (IA) and submit compliance reports within the next 15 days.
The regulatory body in its letter dated December 8, 2021, also warned that on failing to follow this order it will take actions under the provisions of said regulation and TRAI act, 1997. These regulations apply to all commercial and technical arrangements signed by broadcasters, DPOs for providing broadcasting services.
What are these regulations?
The TRAI had made the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Register of Interconnection Agreements (IA) and all such other matters Regulations, 2019 (2 of 2019) on 4th September 2019, which were supposed to come in force from January 2, 2020.
However, they were challenged by the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) in the Kerala high court which granted no coercive actions on order dated January 9, 2020. Later in the judgment dated July 12, 2021, the court partially set aside the provision which required registration of placement/ marketing agreements and TRAI noted that all other provisions are still in operation.
For filing data/ details of the said regulations, TRAI had developed a B&CS integrated portal system (BIPS) which went live on January 2, 2020, itself. The regulations require broadcasters and DPOs to report details of interconnection agreements including commercial details to the authority.
In addition to the RIO, broadcasters are also supposed to submit the details of the information of the individual and all other agreements signed with the DPOs along with any deviation in RIO-based agreements. TRAI may impose fines on broadcasters and DPOs who fail to comply within the given time period.
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