MIB amends law, asks cable trade to furnish correct DAS info or face cancellation/ suspension

09 Jul,2012

From the MxM Infodesk


Although the news was flashed by the wires last week, it got official only on Saturday. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to amend the Cable Television Network Rule, 1995 (Cable Rules) making it obligatory for every Multi-system Operator (MSO) and Local Cable Operator (LCO) to provide correct and timely information to the Ministry as and when it is sought for.


The background: The I&B ministry has been closely monitoring the preparedness of various activities for the implementation of Distributed Antenna System (DAS). The success of DAS depends on timely seeding of STBs at the consumer premises. As such, availability and deployment of set-top boxes (STBs) by MSOs / LCOs are paramount important for the implementation of DAS. Timely availability of accurate data with regard to the seeding of STBs by service providers (MSOs/LCOs) is also critical for the Ministry to ensure digital switch over within the timeframe as well as for taking mid-course corrections if necessary. While assessing the preparedness of DAS in four metros, the Ministry has come across numerous inconsistencies of data provided by the service providers, particularly MSOs, in regard to inventory position of STB and its deployment.


In the Cable Television Network Rule, 1995(Second Amendment) Rule, 2012, a new rule, namely, rule 10A – Obligation to furnish information – has been inserted making it mandatory for MSOs and cable operators to provide information as and when it is sought for by the Central government or state government or authorized officer or any agency of the Central government. The obligation to furnish information under the amended rule 10 A has been incorporated as one of the terms and conditions of registration of cable operator under Rule 5 A and MSOs under rule 11 D.


As per sub-section (7) of section 4 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, the Central government may suspend or revoke the registration of cable operators or MSOs if they violate one or more of the terms and conditions of registration. Incorporation of rule 10 A as one of the terms and conditions of registration of cable operators and MSOs will empower the Central government to cancel or suspend the registration of cable operators or MSO if the information sought for by it is not provided by them. This, MIB hopes, will ensure correct and timely submission of information by cable operators and MSOs.


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