The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today released its recommendations on “Entry-level Net worth requirement of Multi-System Operators (MSOs) in Cable TV Services”. The regulator had on 16th May 2018 received a reference from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) on appropriate fixing of the entry-level net worth for MSOs.
The authority issued a detailed consultation paper on 9th April followed by a subsequent open house discussion. Based on the comments of the stakeholders the authority has finalized its recommendations. The plan house discussion had an inclusive and balanced view put up by stakeholders. While few broadcasters and MSOs supported minimum entry-level net worth quite a few others opposed it.
The authority has recommended that there is no necessity for the fixation of a minimum net entry-level worth for MSO registration.
Any company, individual, LLP, or corporate firm which fulfills the provisions of the Cable TV rules may be granted MSO registration. The authority recommended that there is no need to introduce minimum net worth classification based on the area of the operation of the MSO. As the above classification is not required, there is no need to prescribe minimum net worth for the remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir, and North East.MIB may consider the skill development requirements of the sector and take appropriate action so that trained manpower is available to perform specialized tasks.
The regulator has advised against introducing minimum net worth on the basis of network cost criteria. MIB can issue a standard proforma for the self-declaration of net worth by applicants seeking registration as MSOs.