Trai extends dates for views on digital addressable Cable TV

NEW DELHI: Even as the Parliament has passed the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is yet to come up with the policy guidelines.

Trai is, in fact, still waiting for stakeholders comments on its Consultation Paper on “Issues related to Implementation of Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems”.

Trai has extended the last date for stakeholder comments to 30 January and Counter comments by 6 February. The authority had earlier fixed the dates on 16 January and 23 January respectively. The extension has been permitted on request of stakeholders.

The paper was issued on 22 December last year and it focuses on issues relating to composition and Tariff of Basic Service Tier (BST); retail tariff; pre-paid billing; interconnection issues; and revenue share between MSOs and LCOs.

The paper also addresses issues like Quality of Service Standards and redressal of Consumer Complaints.

The broadcasting industry with about 150 million TV households is set for a major transformation. The analog nature of the cable TV service, which caters to around 94 million households, has been the roadblock in exploiting the full potential of the sector in the era of convergence.

Keeping this in view, Trai in consultation with all the stakeholders had in August 2010 recommended to the Government complete digitisation with addressability of the Cable TV services, in a phased manner. Subsequently, the Government issued a notification on 11 November 2011 in this connection with addressability in a phased manner to be completed by December 2014.

The smooth transition to Digital Addressable system would involve various measures. In order to facilitate this transformation, Trai in consultation with the stakeholders has identified certain key issues that need to be determined.

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