Govt to penalise MSOs revealing wrong data on STBs

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to amend the Cable Television Network Rule, 1995 making it mandatory for cable operators and multi-system operators (MSOs) to furnish accurate and timely information failing which the licences would be revoked.

The decision comes in the backdrop of inconsistencies in data provided by the service providers regarding inventory position of STB and its deployment in the four metros that are to digitise in the first phase - Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

"While assessing the preparedness of DAS in four metros, the Ministry has come across numerous inconsistencies of data provided by the service providers, particularly MSOs, in regard to inventory position of STB and its deployment," the I&B Ministry said in a statement.

"In view of this, the Ministry has decided to amend the Cable Television Network Rule, 1995 (Cable Rules) making it obligatory for every cable operator and Multi-system Operator (MSO) to provide correct and timely information to the Ministry as and when it is sought for."

According to MIB, the timely availability of accurate data with regard to the seeding of STBs by service providers is critical for digital switch over within the timeframe as well as for taking mid-course corrections if necessary.

In the Cable Television Network Rule, 1995(Second Amendment) Rule, 2012, a new rule, namely, rule 10A Obligation to furnish information, has been inserted making it mandatory for MSOs and cable operators to provide information as and when it is sought for by the Central Government or State Government or authorised officer or any agency of the Central Government.

The obligation to furnish information under the amended rule 10 A has been incorporated as one of the terms and conditions of registration of cable operator under Rule 5 A and MSOs under rule 11 D.

As per sub-section (7) of section 4 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, the Central Government may suspend or revoke the registration of cable operators or MSOs if they violate one or more of the terms and conditions of registration.

Incorporation of rule 10 A as one of the terms and conditions of registration of cable operators and MSOs will empower the Central Government to cancel or suspend the registration of cable operators or MSO if the information sought for by it is not provided by them. This will ensure correct and timely submission of information by cable operators and MSOs, the Ministry added.

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