Regulators
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TRAI releases telecommunication services DAS audit manual

The new framework envisages that the DPO gets systems audited every year

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MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Digital Addressable Systems Audit Manual. The new regulatory framework endeavours to provide a level playing field to all the service providers, effective choice to consumers, and orderly growth of the sector. It envisages a must-carry and must-provide regime where interconnection agreements are based on transparent Reference Interconnect Offer.

“This manual is the result of the synthesis of all comments, suggestions of BECIL and final analysis by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The audit manual will be a guidance document for the audit process as it specifies step-by-step process in simple language. The manual does not supersede any provision of the extant regulations,” said TRAI in its release.

In order to ensure that the benefits of digitisation are effectively utilised, TRAI, after due consultation process, brought out a common regulatory framework for digital addressable systems. The 'new regulatory framework' comprises Interconnection Regulations, 2017, Quality of Service Regulations, 2017 and Tariff Order, 2017.

The full benefits of digitisation can accrue to various stakeholders in the value chain only when the business transactions are transparent and based on objective, measurable and computable parameters.

Effective and factual audit of the systems of DPO will ensure that the equipment and the software (including configuration of systems) comply with the extant regulatory framework.

“The new framework envisages that the DPO gets its systems audited every year so as to assure the broadcasters that true subscription numbers are being reported. In cases where a broadcaster is not satisfied with the outcomes of audit undertaken by the DPO, a countervailing provision empowers the broadcaster to initiate an audit. Considering the importance of audit to establish the trust-based regime, industry stakeholders suggested to provide an audit manual,” said TRAI.

Accordingly, the authority constituted a committee comprising of industry stakeholders to prepare and submit draft audit manual to the authority. Consultation Paper on the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Digital Addressable Systems Audit Manual was issued on 29 March 2019. After receiving the comments, an Open House Discussion (OHD) was held on 20 June 2019 in Delhi to discuss the draft audit manual.

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