MUMBAI: The Government today warned multi-system operators against disconnecting signals of local cable operators without due notice specifying reasons and said any violation of this would viewed seriously and action against erring MSOs.
The directive comes even as more than twenty cases are pending before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) relating to disconnection of signals by distributors to MSOs or MSOs to LCOs.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry said Chapter V of Standards of Quality of Service (Digital Addressable Cable Systems) Regulations 2012 issued by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is clear that ‘no multi system operator (MSO) shall disconnect the signals of a TV channel of a linked local cable operator, without giving three weeks' notice to such local cable operator, clearly specifying the reasons for the proposed disconnection.’
The Regulation further says notice of disconnection of signals of TV channels is also required to be published in two leading local newspapers of the State in which the service provider is providing the services, out of which one notice shall be published in the newspaper in the local language of the area.
The Ministry said it had been brought to its notice that some MSOs are disconnecting signals to cable subscribers without giving any notice in violation of the Regulation.
The Ministry said this is also in violation of the undertaking given by MSOs in form 2 of their application which states: ‘We shall ensure that my/our cable television network shall be run in accordance with the provisions of the Cable Television Network (Regulations) Act 1995 and the rules made thereunder, regulations, orders, guidelines or the directions issued by the Central Government or the Authority from time to time.’