Digital Addressable Cable TV System

The Cable Television Networks (CTN) Bill 2011 was cleared by the Parliament making it mandatory for India's television distribution networks to move from analog to digital cable by December 2014, in a phased manner. The smooth transition to digital addressable system would involve various measures. The Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) in consultation with the stakeholders has identified certain key issues that need to be resolved. In a consultation paper on digital addressable cable TV system (DAS), the regulatory body has sought comments from cable operators and broadcasters on issues related to interconnection and tariff structures, redressal of consumer complaints, service standards, and carriage fees. The interconnection and tariff structures include the revenue-share arrangement between multi-system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs), as well as the money that MSOs pay for their channels. The government has realized it is losing hundreds of crores of rupees in entertainment and service tax due to under-reporting of connections in the old analog system. The TRAI has enforced its must-provide clause where a broadcaster must provide its channels on a non-discriminatory basis, when requested by networks. The clause avoids vertical monopolies from denying channels to their competitors.


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