MSOs told to provide signals to local cable operators only after signing a written interconnection agreement
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | August 18, 2016
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has told all multi-system operators (MSO) to provide signals of TV channels to local cable operators (LCOs) only after signing a written interconnection agreement.
The Telecommunication (Broadcasting and cable services) Interconnection (Digital Addressable Cable Television Systems) Regulations, 2012 requires that no MSO shall make available signals of TV channels to any linked local cable operator without entering into a written interconnection agreement. The MSO has to hand over a copy of the interconnection agreement to their respective LCO within 15 days and obtain an acknowledgement.
TRAI also notified a format of the model interconnection agreement (MIA) and standard interconnection agreement (SIA) to be signed between MSOs and LCOs. The MIA enables MSOs and LCOs to have a mutual agreement in a structured manner in line with the regulatory framework. The SIA provides standard terms and conditions prescribed by the regulation that can be adopted by MSOs and LCOs for retransmission of TV signals if they fail to mutually agree on MIA.
It has been brought to the notice of TRAI that some MSOs are asking LCOs to provide signal without entering into a written interconnection agreement. Such arrangements are against the interconnection regulations and may result in disputes.
All MSOs have been advised not to venture into such deals/arrangements as it is punishable under the TRAI act.