TRAI directs broadcasters, DPOs to provide status of signing IA on daily basis

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed broadcasters and distribution platform operators (DPOs) to provide the status of signing of interconnection agreement on a daily basis through email by 5 pm every day.

The interconnection regulation mandates all the broadcasters and DPOs to provide and carry pay channels only after entering into an interconnection agreement. The new directive from the TRAI was issued as very few broadcasters and DPOs had provided the status of the interconnection agreement.

“For all the broadcasters and DPOs to either renew or amend all their existing interconnection agreements by 29.11.2018. In any circumstances interconnect agreement have to be signed before providing signals or distributing pay channels under the new regulatory framework, as the case may be,” the TRAI said in its letter to the service providers.

“Therefore, you are again advised to comply with the new Regulatory Framework, 2017. All the service providers are requested to intimate the current status of the signing of interconnection agreements as per the new Regulatory. Framework, 2017 on daily basis through return e-mail latest by 5 PM every day, as per enclosed format,” it added.

The authority had on 5 December directed all the broadcasters and DPOs to intimate the status of the signing of interconnection agreement as per the new regulatory framework 2017 within seven days in a specified format.

However, only a few broadcasters and DPOs furnished the requisite information.

As per the regulations 9(1), 9(3) and 10 of The Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations 2017 dated 3rd March 2017, every service provider has to reduce the terms and conditions of their interconnect agreements to writing.

It further mandates that service providers will either have to renew or amend their existing interconnection agreements in compliance with the provisions of the regulations and the tariff orders notified by the Authority, within one hundred and fifty days of commencement of these regulations.

The regulation also prevents distributors from retransmitting pay channels of any broadcaster without entering into a written interconnection agreement with such broadcaster.

It is also mandatory for a broadcaster and a distributor of television channels to enter into a written interconnection agreement on the a-la-carte basis for distribution of pay channels.

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