TRAI forwards report on voluntary CAS, digitalisation to I

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New Delhi, Dec 27 (UNI) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today said it had forwarded the report on digitalisation and introduction of Voluntary CAS along with the comments of 16 stakeholders to the of Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

''It is expected that this report will be useful in deciding the roadmap for bringing about addressability in the cable TV sector,'' it said.

The major recommendations in the Group's report are: Voluntary CAS would be a non-starter unless the date from which CAS is to be implemented is mandated by the Government.

As many as 55 cities, including all state capitals, and all other cities with a population of one million and above, have been identified for this purpose.

The dates of roll out of CAS for these identified cities to be notified in advance by the Government of India in one go.

The 55 identified cities may be covered in phases over a time frame spread over three years from October 2008 to September 2011.

Voluntary efforts towards digitalisation and introduction of CAS ahead of the mandated date for roll out of CAS to be facilitated by extending the existing CAS regulatory framework.

Framework to facilitate voluntary efforts for introduction of CAS in cities other than identified cities also provided.

Earlier, a round table meeting was convened by the TRAI on February 1 this year, at Delhi with various stakeholders on the subject.

One of the major issues that was discussed with the stakeholders in the meeting related to exploring alternative models for voluntary CAS.

Industry experts as well as representatives of consumer organisations, Multisystem Operators (MSOs), cable operators, DTH operators, broadcasters and equipment manufacturers participated in the round table.

They had agreed to form a small Group, consisting of members drawn from the TRAI, the Information and Broadcasting Ministery, Prasar Bharti, consumer organizations, Broadcasters, MSOs, DTH operators, Cable operator/Distributor associations and technical experts, was constituted to deliberate on the issues relating to digitalisation and introduction of voluntary CAS.

The Group, after extensive deliberations, had submitted its recommendations to the Authority on June 12.

UNI

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