The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has published the names of multi-system operators (MSOs) based on their compliance with the TRAI’s interconnection legislation.
The Ministry has also urged broadcasters to enter into new interconnection or renewal arrangements with only “compliant” MSOs.
The Ministry stated in an advisory on Thursday stated that broadcasters registered with the government have frequently addressed the issue of cable operators underreporting subscriber base and noncompliance with TRAI’s Audit regulation, resulting in revenue loss to them.
According to the TRAI interconnection rule, a broadcaster must establish an interconnection agreement with the distributor of television channels to provide signals on a nondiscriminatory basis.
The TRAI Interconnection Regulations 2017 require that every distributor of television channels have an auditor audit its subscriber management system, conditional access system, and other related systems once a calendar year to ensure that the monthly subscription reports made available to broadcasters are complete, true, and correct.
Furthermore, if broadcasters are dissatisfied with the audit findings, they have the option of having the systems utilized by television channel distributors reviewed. MSOs are required to comply with TRAI regulations under Rules 10 and 11D(b) of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, according to the Ministry.
In addition, to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and the Rules framed thereunder, the Ministry directed all MSOs to provide information such as head-end locations, Conditional Access System, Transport Stream/Frequency detail, RF Feed Details, Platform Service details, CTAV Signal distribution areas, STB Seeding details, and so on at Rule 10A of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.
This Ministry has observed that, despite the existence of the aforementioned methods, the majority of MSOs’ responses “have not been satisfactory.”
“Despite ample opportunities,” the Ministry wrote in the advise, “many MSOs failed to register on the Digital India MIB portal and furnish the above-mentioned information on the portal,” it said.
“Noncompliance by cable operators with MIB/TRAI directions/regulations has been taken extremely seriously by this Ministry. It has been agreed that MIB will label MSOs as Non-Compliant if they fail to comply with the terms and conditions of registration granted to them, such as violations of Audit Regulations, failure to provide information to MIB, failure to notify change of directors/shareholders, and so on,” the MIB advisory stated.
A list of registered MSOs, as well as their compliance status, is available on the Ministry’s website.
Such MSO listings will be regularly updated on the Ministry’s website for the benefit of the involved stakeholders.
If a broadcaster already has an interconnection agreement with a “non-compliant” MSO, the MIB recommended that they notify the MSO via email with a copy of the communication marked to the government.