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Update :  TRAI asks MSOs to devise rational channel rates for phase III
Tuesday 23-June-2015, 20:39,
TRAI asks MSOs to devise rational channel rates for phase III
MUMBAI:
Close
to
61
multi
system
operators
(MSOs)
have
approached
the
broadcaster
for
signing
of
interconnect
agreements.
The
statistics
were
revealed
at
the
eighth
task
force
meeting
by
the
Telecom
Regulatory
Authority
of
India
(TRAI)
advisor
Sunil
Kumar
Singhal.
Of these, according to the report
received by Singhal, while the
broadcasters have given their replies
to the MSOs, the memorandum of
understanding (MoU) is yet to be
signed. The TRAI through its meetings
with the MSOs and broadcasters, has
identified four core issues relating to
interconnect agreements. These are:
1. While the MSOs are expressing
interest for getting signals from
broadcasters, they are being asked
for more information, which is taking
time. “Now with the intervention of
TRAI, broadcasters have formalized
their formats and have placed them on
their websites so that all MSOs can
submit requests at one go and the
agreement signed,” informed Singhal.
2. The distributors of several
broadcasters in a state are also MSOs
and that has led to conflict of
interest with the MSOs. “We have
been able to address this by seeking
the details of the core team of the
broadcasters to be approached for
getting the signals and the
broadcasters have provided such
details also on their websites,” he
said.
3. The third point was related to
pending dispute between MSOs in DAS
areas which are both old as well as
new. “These disputes need to be
resolved mutually as TRAI would not
intervene in such disputes,” he opined.
4. There are differences between
MSOs and broadcasters on the rate of
channels. “The larger MSOs are in
negotiations with broadcasters to
finalise the prices and it is indicated
that they will be in a position to
finalise them by mid June,” he said.
Meanwhile, TRAI has asked the MSOs
to devise means to have rational rates
for phase III areas, as the rates for
phase I and II cannot be workable in
the remaining phases.
The TRAI advisor also informed the
task force meeting that there was
confusion between both MSOs and
broadcasters which related to the
modus operandi for entering into
agreements during the transition
period. The TRAI advisor said that the
MSOs and broadcasters were business
entities who should know how to
communicate with each other in order
to expedite and facilitate their
business interests. The TRAI has
asked the stakeholders to not repeat
the mistakes of phase I and II by
deploying pre-activated STBs.
The representative of the MSOs,
during the meeting said that whatever
be the rate declared by broadcasters,
TRAI should come out with a non-
discriminative clause which should not
push packages but allow the channels
to be on a-la-carte basis. “We have
been insisting on a-la-carte and not
bundling of channels and any delay in
the implementation of DAS will result
in losses to both MSOs and
broadcasters,” informed the TRAI
advisor.
According to a MSO representative,
the packaging of channels should be
monitored by TRAI. “The LCOs should
be trained to spread DAS amongst the
consumers as they are close to the
consumers and can speedup this
process,” opined the MSO
representative.
Information and Broadcasting
Ministry (I&B) additional secretary JS
Mathur, who was also chairing the
meeting said that the publicity
campaign for the cutoff date for
phase III should start now.
According to Siti Cable Network’s Anil
Malhotra, while the target rate of
seeding set top boxes (STBs) requires
to be around 2 to 3 lakh per day, the
present rate of seeding is about 20-30
thousand boxes which is way short and
logistic support has to be planned out
in order to step-up the pace of
seeding.
During the meeting, a representative
from BIS raised the issue of hacking
of STBs and said that a request has
been received from some broadcasters
to strengthen the BIS Standard of
STBs.
http://www.indiantelevision.com/regulato...iii-150623
ANIL G
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