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Cable TV Operator’s non–compliance with rules

Context – Ministry of Information and Broadcasting released the list of multi system operators (MSOs) or cable TV operator  that have not yet Complied with the conditions for their registration . The non- complaint mark be given to operators who had failed to adhere to terms and conditions  of registration.

Data– According to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting only 230 out of 1700 operators are compliant with the terms and conditions.

As per the TRAIs (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ) Interconnection Regulation 2017

  1. a broadcaster has to sign an agreement with the distributor of television channels for providing signals on a non- discriminatory basis. 
  2. Every distributor of TV channels  shall cause audit of its subscriber management system, conditional access system by an auditor to verify that the monthly subscription reports made available by the distributor to broadcaster are true or complete.


Registration as cable operator— Person who is desirous of operating or is operating a cable television network may apply for registration or renewal of registration, as a cable operator to the registering authority

Transmission of programmes through digital addressable systems– Where the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make it obligatory for every cable operator to transmit or re-transmit programmes of any channel in an encrypted form through a digital addressable system 

Addressable system” means an electronic device  or more than one electronic device put in an integrated system through which signals of cable television network can be sent in encrypted form, which can be decoded by the device or devices, having an activated Conditional Access System at the premises of the subscriber 

Compulsory transmission of certain channels—The Central Government may specify the names of Doordarshan channels or the channels operated by or on behalf of Parliament, to be mandatorily carried by the cable operators in their cable service and the manner of reception and re-transmission of such channels

Cable television network not to interfere with any telecommunication system—Every cable operator shall ensure that the cable television network being operated by him does not interfere with the functioning of the authorised telecommunication systems

 Punishment for contravention of provisions of this Act—Whoever contravenes any of the provisions of this Act shall be punishable— for the first offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both; for every subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees

About TRAI Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

The entry of private service providers brought with it the inevitable need for independent regulation. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was established with effect from by an Act of Parliament called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.

TRAI’s mission  to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable India to play a leading role in emerging global information society.

Objectives– to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.

TDSAT– a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI. TDSAT was set up to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI.

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