TRAI asks cable operators to ink interconnection agreements before analogue switch off

analogueThe Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has promised to intervene in case any registered cable feed provider is not given a signal by any channel as part of the move from analogue to digital cable by end of next month.

According to India’s switch-over schedule, all analogue transmission in all urban areas in the country will come to a stop on December 31. After that, all cable operators in urban areas under Municipal Corporations and Municipalities in the country will be required to transmit only digital signals.

Since the payment structure and channel tariffs for digital areas is different from those in the analogue era, cable operators are required to ink new agreements with channel owners.

The TRAI pointed out that according to the law, all channel owners are bound to give their signals to any multi-system-operator (feed provider) who is interested. In case any channel refuses to provide its signal, the TRAI would intervene, it promised.

“The Regulatory framework for OAS provides that every broadcaster shall provide the signals of TV channels to a Multi System Operator (MSO), in accordance with its reference interconnect offer or as may be mutually agreed, within 60 days from the date of receipt of the request and in case the request for providing signals of TV Channels is not agreed to, the reasons for such refusal to provide signals shall be conveyed to the person making a request within 60 days from the date of request,” the TRAI said.

“As the cut off date for Phase-III areas is fast approaching, the registered MSOs are advised to make a written request to the broadcasters of pay channels for provisioning of the signals of TV channels as per their business requirement, so that they get signals of pay TV channels well before the cut off date.

“The MSOs who have approached pay TV broadcasters for providing signals of TV channels in accordance with the provisions of the interconnection regulations but have not been able to enter into interconnection agreement even after passage of 60 days from the date of making request and also not received valid reasons for not entering into interconnection agreement from the broadcaster may write to TRAI by 28.11.2015 through e-mail for action,” it added.

According to the schedule, the final switch-off of all analogue signals in the country will happen on December 31, 2016.