TRAI Releases Amendment Regulations for Broadcasting and Cable services Interconnection

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today issued the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) (Amendment) Regulations, 2019.

TRAI said that some issues in the Schedule III of the Interconnection Regulations 2017 were reflected during the consultation undertaken to prepare the Audit Manual. To address the issues TRAI released a draft on 27 August 2019 and also conducted an Open House Discussion (OHD)was also held on 26 September 2019 in Delhi.

Based on the comments received and analysis of the developments in the market the regulations have been revised by the regulator. Vide these
Regulations the Authority has amended Schedule III of the Interconnection
Regulations 2017, mainly on the following:-

  1. Scheduling and Scope of Audit
  2. The transactional capacity of Conditional Access System (CAS) and
    Subscriber Management System (SMS)
  3. Support for Overt and Covert fingerprinting in Set-Top-Boxes.
  4. Watermarking network logo for all pay channels

The scheduling has been so amended that the Distributor of Pay TV broadcasting services will keep a minimum gap of six months between the two annual audits and the maximum time gap is eighteen months. The minimum transactional capacity required for CAS and SMS systems has been revised to 5 % instead of earlier 10 %.

Since the implementation of the new
framework, all Distributors are deploying STBs that are compliant with Covert and Overt fingerprinting. The Authority has taken a pragmatic view on these aspects owing to already existing field deployments and revised the extant provisions in schedule II of the Interconnection Regulations 2017.

TRAI said that the amended regulations will help in establishing a fully compliant trust-based Audit regime conducted as per extant regulations by the empanelled Auditors.

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