TRAI releases Consultation Paper on KYC of DTH Set-Top Boxes

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today issued a consultation paper on ‘KYC of DTH Set-Top Boxes. The regulator had received a reference from Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) dated 27th December 2018 wherein, TRAI has been requested to give its considered recommendations on the desirability or otherwise of Know Your Customer (KYC)for Set-Top Boxes in DTH Services and if desirable, then the process for the same.

The ministry has recommended that the following safeguards can be applied for restricting smuggling of DTH equipment illegally to other countries:

1) The DTH equipment may be sold to the customers only after filling of KYC form by them and verification did according to Aadhaar Card.
2) As in mobiles, the location-based services (LBS) needs to be made active in DTH set-top boxes to check their location in accordance with customer ID/Card ID.The ministry also said that the DTH operators may be asked to operate on satellites having coverage in India only.

During discussions with TRAI DTH operators have suggested the use of OTP to fulfil the purpose of KYC. The operators told TRAI that the installation team captures the installation location because of which the location of the DTH installation is accurately captured.

The regulator has framed six questions to be answered as part of the consultation paper. 

Issues for Consultation: 

1) Is there a need for KYC or e-KYC of DTH Set Top Boxes to address the concern raised by MIB in their letter mentioned in paragraph 1.5 of this consultation paper? Give your answer with justification.
2) If your answer to Q1 is in affirmative, then what process is to be followed?
3) Whether one-time KYC is enough at the time of installation or verification is required to be done on a periodic basis to ensure its actual location? If yes, what should be the periodicity of such verification?
4) Whether KYC of the existing DTH STBs is also required to be done along with the new DTH STBs? If yes, how much time should be given for verifying the existing STBs for DTH?
5) Whether the location-based services(LBS) needs to be incorporated in the DTH set-top boxes to track its location? Will there be any cost implication? Give your response with supporting data and justification.
6) Any other relevant issue with KYC of DTH Set Top Boxes?

TRAI has invited written comments on the Consultation Paper from the stakeholders by 19.08.2019. Counter-comments, if any, may be submitted by 02.09.2019.

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