Regulators

MSOs have to now start trial runs on STBs: Trai

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MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has directed multi-system operators (MSOs) to start trial runs on homes where they have seeded the digital set-top boxes (STBs) for conditional access system (Cas).

"We have reports of 10 MSOs having conducted the trials for testing out their digital systems under Cas. The deadline starts from today. We want to be sure that there are no glitches in implementation of CAS and the transition is smooth," said Trai chairman Nripendra Misra while addressing a consumer forum meet today in Mumbai.

The progress is satisfactory and let there be no doubt in the minds of stakeholders that CAS is going to be implemented on the due date, he added. "Digitisation is a way forward and consumers falling under the Cas notified areas should start ordering for STBs from now so that there is no crowding towards the end."

With effect from 1 January, pay channels in the notified areas of South Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata can be viewed only through the STBs.

The cable and broadcast regulator will encourage various modes of digitalisation, Misra said. "We want to discuss on the road ahead for digitalisation. Besides mandated CAS, we are looking at voluntary spread of digitalisation across all technologies. We will be having a serious of discussions from 27 January-June."

Clarifying on the issue of taxes, Misra said it did not fall under the purview of Trai. "VAT will be on the deposits and rental schemes of the STBs," he added.

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