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MIB makes cable law stricter to meet digitisation deadline

The registration of cable operators or MSOs may be suspended if they fail to provide correct and timely information sought by the Ministry

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 10, 2012

To ensure digital switch over by October 31, 2012, in four metros as well as for taking mid-course corrections if necessary, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has decided to amend the Cable Television Network Rules, 1995 (Cable Rules) to make it obligatory for every cable operator and Multi-system Operator (MSO) to provide correct and timely information to the ministry as and when it is sought for.

The ministry has taken the decision after it found numerous inconsistencies in data provided by service providers, particularly MSOs, in regard to inventory position of set-top boxes (STBs) and their deployment while assessing the preparedness of DAS in the four metros. In the Second Amendment, 2012 in the Cable Television Network Rules, a new rule, namely, Rule 10A (Obligation to furnish information), has been inserted making it mandatory for MSOs and cable operators to provide information as and when it is sought for by the Central Government or State Government or authorised officer or any agency of the Central Government. The obligation to furnish information under the amended Rule 10 A has been incorporated as one of the terms and conditions of registration of cable operators under Rule 5A and MSOs under Rule 11D. As per sub-section (7) of section 4 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, the Central Government may suspend or revoke the registration of cable operators or MSOs if they violate one or more of the terms and conditions of registration. Incorporation of Rule 10A will empower the government to cancel or suspend the registration of cable operators or an MSO if the information sought is not provided by them. This will ensure correct and timely submission of information by cable operators and MSOs.

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