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TRAI issues rules for interconnect agrrements for CAS areas

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) The TRAI today issued a direction to amend the Interconnection Regulations aimed at providing standard forms of interconnection agreements for Conditional Access System(CAS) areas.

The Regulations cover arrangements among service providers for interconnection and revenue share for all broadcasting and cable services in the country.

As per a Delhi High court order, CAS is to be implemented in the notified areas of Delhi Mumbai and Kolkata from December 31.

The objective of having standard interconnection agreements is to ensure that implementation of CAS does not get delayed in case the service providers fail to enter into mutually acceptable interconnection agreements through negotiation within the stipulated time.

The Authority had placed on its website on June 12 this year, a draft standard interconnection agreements for CAS areas between broadcasters and multi system operators (MSOs) and between MSOs and cable operators as well as the draft Regulation for providing these agreements.

Apart from providing standard interconnection agreements, the Regulations have also been amended to prohibit such clauses in interconnection agreements which would require the distributor of TV channels to pay a minimum guaranteed amount as subscription fee, where such distributor is using an addressable system for delivery of pay channels.

The main features of the standard interconnection agreements are include that service providers are at a liberty to enter into mutually acceptable interconnection agreements which are different from the standard interconnection agreements.

If any of the service providers in the CAS areas are not able to arrive at a mutually acceptable interconnection agreement within a time-period specified by the authority, then they shall be required to enter into interconnection agreements as per the standard interconnection agreements.

The standard interconnection agreements between broadcasters and MSos have been provided only for pay channels.

Revenue Sharing between the service providers will be as follows: share of broadcasters 45 per cent, share of multi system operators 30 per cent and share of cable operators 25 per cent of the revenues generated from Pay channels.

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