Regulators

Trai drafts standardised interconnect regulations

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NEW DELHI: In a bid to streamline the cable industry, sector regulator today released the proposed standard forms of interconnect agreements for CAS areas between broadcasters and multi system operators and between MSOs and local cable operators (LCOs).

The reason for this being suggestions from the industry stake holders to the government that a standard form of interconnect agreements be formulated.

On 10 March, 2006 the Delhi High Court had directed the government implement CAS in Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai within a month’s time.

Subsequent to this order, a series of meetings were taken by the information and broadcasting ministry.

Taking note of suggestions emanating from the meetings, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has decided to finalise a standard format for interconnection agreements for CAS in consultation with the industry.

Accordingly, a draft of the standard forms has been placed on the website of Trai today. The draft agreements contain a number of sections and provisions.

One of them relate to revenue sharing. The actual revenue share percentages have been left blank in the draft and are proposed to be filled up after getting comments of the stakeholders.

Trai has also asked for feedback on the following:

•Should there be a uniform revenue share percentage between all broadcasters and MSOs and MSOs and LCOs. If yes, what should be the revenue share percentages? What is the methodology, data and principles on which these are based?

•Should the revenue share percentages be different for different broadcasters? If so, should the rates for different broadcasters prevailing in Chennai be adopted in other CAS notified areas?

•Is there any other alternative method of arriving at the revenue share?

A draft regulation has also put on the website for comments containing the provisions for the standard agreements as well as a clause for prohibiting minimum subscriber guarantee. The deadline for sending comments is 27 June.

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