The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has passed Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2021 on June 11, 2021. The Amendment makes the following changes in Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 :
- Regulation 4A has been inserted – Compliance to requirements of Addressable System by distributors of television channels—
- Every distributor of television channel shall deploy conditional access system and subscriber management system which conform to the requirements as specified in the Schedule IX.
- If a distributor fails to obtain the certification of the conditional access system and/or subscriber management system deployed in its network within the stipulated timelines, as specified by the Authority shall be liable to pay, by way of financial disincentive, an amount of rupees one thousand per day for default up to thirty days beyond the due date and an additional amount of rupees two thousand per day in case the default continues beyond thirty days from the due date
- New Schedule IX has been inserted providing the procedure of Conditional Access System (CAS) and Subscriber Management System (SMS).
The Amendment has provided the CAS and SMS as the key elements that govern content security and proper accounting. The regulatory framework provides for non-discrimination and mandatory sharing of signals. These provisions have helped many new small multi-system operators (MSOs) to install networks and start their services. As per the extant regulations, if the addressable system does not meet the requirements as specified in Schedule III, the broadcaster is permitted to disconnect signals of television channels, as per proviso to sub-Regulation (2) of regulation 15, after due notice. Sometimes, small MSOs suffer such eventuality due to deployment of sub-standard CAS and SMS. This arises from the fact that there are no prescribed, tested, and certified solutions. Small MSOs have limited awareness of necessary technical parameters.
*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.