Regulators

Trai asks DTH operators to file inter-connect agreements with broadcasters

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NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today directed DTH operators to file with the designated authority their inter-connect agreements with various broadcasters.

This move, the regulator said, will be in addition to an existing obligation placed on the broadcasters, in terms of a 31 December 2004 directive, to file their inter-connect agreements entered with a DTH operator.

"The amendment to (regulations) for filing by the DTH operator has been done to facilitate better monitoring and to provide for specific informational requirements relevant to DTH platform," Trai said in a statement soon after a Delhi court directed the government to plan rollout of CAS within four weeks.

Since the number of agreements that would be entered into by a DTH operator with broadcasters will not be voluminous as in the case of cable TV, it should be possible to provide for filing of copies of individual agreements, Trai explained, nipping in the bud any criticism of such a move.

The regulator would separately be specifying the procedure to be adopted by DTH operators for the filing(s) after amended regulations are notified.

On 31 December 2004, Trai had issued regulations for filing and registration of interconnect agreements entered into by broadcasters with service providers under different platforms.

In line with the detailed recommendations of TRAI on issues relating to broadcasting and distribution of TV channels, it was stated in paragraph 5 of the explanatory memorandum to the above regulation that the agreements entered into between a MSO and a local cable operator (LCO) shall be registered with the authorized officers under the Cable Act.

Subsequently, on 2 December 2005, these regulations were amended to bring about flexibility in adopting procedures as regard to the manner of filing, formats of filing, etc of the inter-connect agreements.

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