Regulators

BECIL asked to audit Den Networks’ systems following dispute with Sun Distribution Services

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NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) today directed the Broadcasting Engineering Consultants India Ltd (BECIL) to undertake an audit of the systems of Den Networks following a dispute with Sun Distribution Services.

TDSAT chairman Aftab Alam and member Kuldip Singh said that KPMG engaged by Sun had undertaken an audit of Den’s head-end in Delhi following an earlier order of the Tribunal, but the report of the auditing agency cast some doubts with regard to the working of Den’s system. 

The Tribunal therefore said: ‘Without going into the details of that report, we think it would be fit and proper to have an audit of the petitioner’s system made by BECIL as provided under the provison to clause 3.4 of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting & Cable Services) Interconnection (Digital Addressable Cable Television Systems) Regulations 2012. ‘

The Tribunal also noted that Den ‘undeniably failed to submit any subscribers’ reports whatsoever’ to Sun, with regard to its various channels for the period November 2012 to July 2013. It also noted that Sun’s counsel had said Den was supplying all its channels without any restriction to all the set top boxes seeded by it to its subscribers, the number of which would run into several lakhs.

After July 2013, the petitioner has been submitting on a monthly basis certain figures relating to the subscribers’ base of the respondent’s different channels, but those too do not conform to the statutory requirements concerning the monthly subscriber management system (SMS) reports, counsel said.

Listing the matter for 29 August, TDSAT listed the issues that BECIL may examine during its audit:



- Whether or not the CAS and the SMS systems at the petitioner’s head-end are properly integrated and whether or not, it is possible to verify the SMS figures with reference to the data generated from the CAS system.



- Whether it is technologically possible to find out the true subscriber base for the different channels of the respondent for the period November 2012 to July 2013 by retrieving the relevant data from the petitioner’s CAS system or by any other means.



- In case it is not possible to find out the true subscriber base for the different channels of the respondent for the period November 2012 to July 2013 with reference to the data retrievable from CAS, what process BECIL might suggest for arriving at a reasonable estimate of the subscriber base for the respondent’s different channels for the period November 2012 to July 2013?



- Whether or not it is possible to verify the correctness of the subscribers’ figures supplied by the petitioner to the respondent for the period August 2013 to June 2014 with reference to the data retrievable from the petitioner’s CAS system or by any other means. 



- In case those figures are not verifiable with reference to the data retrievable from the petitioner’s CAS system, what should be the approach for verifying their correctness?

Having regard to nature of the controversy, the BECIL is requested to complete the audit and submit its report within two weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of this order.  Needless to say that Den shall accord full cooperation to BECIL in conduct of the audit and shall also bear the entire cost of the audit. 

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