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Monday, 22 April 2019 05:02

TRAI releases the draft Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Register of Interconnection Agreements Regulations, 2019

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On 22 April, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Register of Interconnection Agreements Regulations, 2019. 

The primary objective of register of Interconnect regulations is to formulate the contours of a reporting system for the service providers so that they can report details of interconnection agreements including commercial details to the Authority. It would enable the Authority to maintain register of interconnect as per provisions of TRAI Act. The existing regulation mandates broadcasters of pay TV channels, DTH operators, HITS operators and IPTV operators to report to the Authority, annually, the information relating to the interconnection agreements signed among them.

To simplify the process, avoid duplication of reports, and formulate its view on various issues such as accessibility of information of register, the Authority had issued a consultation paper on 'The Register of Interconnection Agreements (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Regulations, 2016' on 23 March 2016. Comments and counter-comments received on this consultation paper were posted on TRAI's website. The comments and counter-comments received in the consultation process have been examined. In the meanwhile, the new regulatory framework has been implemented. Based on the comments received in the consultation process and analysis of the developments in the market pursuant to implementation of the new regulatory framework these draft regulations have been prepared. 

The objective of this draft regulation is to ensure that all the Interconnection agreements are filed by every broadcaster and the distributor of television channels (with average active subscriber base of its entire distribution network equal to or more than two lakhs). 

Full text of the draft Regulation is available on the TRAI's website. Written comments, with detailed reasons, justifications and supporting data on the draft Regulation are invited from the stakeholders by 6 May 2019.

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