As first reported by Indianbroadcastingworld.com last week, the Indian government has formally permitted sharing of infrastructure amongst MSOs on a voluntary basis, subject to the guidelines issued.
“Consequent upon acceptance of TRAI recommendations on ‘Sharing of Infrastructure in Television Broadcasting Distribution Sector’, the sharing of infrastructure by Multi-System Operators is permitted as per the enclosed guidelines,” Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) said Wednesday.
The guidelines, while tweaking some wordings in the regulations to facilitate such sharing, added that the responsibility of compliance to the relevant rules, licenses and orders would continue to be of each MSO independently even though the infrastructure is shared.
An earlier report by Indianbroadcasting world.com on the issue could be read at http://www.indianbroadcastingworld.com/mso-infra-sharing-policy-coming-soon-mibs-sanjiv-shankar/.
The highlights of the guidelines issued include the following:
# Each MSO would ensure encryption of signals and addressability of subscribers under all circumstances and provide access to all the systems and the networks being used to the broadcasters for the purpose of audit as per regulations and also to the authorized government officials whenever requested.
# An MSO, willing to share its transport stream of TV channels with another MSO, should ensure that the latter has valid written interconnection agreements with broadcasters for distribution of pay TV channels to the subscribers.
# MSOs sharing hardware for their SMS applications would provide the details of such arrangements to the MIB, TRAI, and the broadcasters 30 days in advance.
# Each MSO would be accountable for ensuring the integrity and security of the CAS and the SMS data pertaining to such distributor.
# Each MSO would maintain the backup of transaction logs and SMS data on near real time basis for at least past two years, at any point of time, on a secondary storage device.
# When sharing infrastructure and transport streams of TV channels, the MSOs would set up systems and processes that ensure the broadcasters are able to exercise their right of disconnection of signals, in case of default of payment or due to any other reason specified in the interconnection agreements.
# MSOs sharing the infrastructure would put in place necessary technical arrangements for detecting a specific signal pirate in the unlikely event of such an incidence and satisfy a broadcaster’s reasonable concerns at the time of initial audit itself.
# For infrastructure sharing, the new applicant and the existing licensee will jointly submit a detailed proposal, giving details to the MIB of the infrastructure proposed to be shared as well as responsibilities of the parties concerned.
# To ensure continuity of service to subscribers in the event of a disaster, the operator(s) should have an arrangement of sharing disaster recovery system in hot-standby mode.