Archive for the ‘CAS’ Category

Trai to explore CAS optionally in non-notified areas

March 28, 2007

March 27, 2007: Broadcast regulator Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is exploring the option of allowing voluntary implementation of conditional access system (CAS) in non-notified areas following the success achieved in notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

It has formed a 15-member consultative panel to explore various options for implementation of CAS in non-notified areas, a Trai official said.



DTH rates set to tumble

February 15, 2007

New Delhi February 07, 2007: After years of suffering capricious cable operators, cable and satellite households will finally enjoy the upper hand.

With three more direct-to-home (DTH) operators set to enter the market by the year-end, subscribers can expect services at even cheaper rates.

Jawahar Goel, who heads Zee TV’s DTH operations, Dish TV, reckons that prices will be down 20 to 30 per cent once Bharti, Reliance and Sun TV join the fray.

That’s great news for the 25 lakh DTH homes in major cities but not so for the two existing players, Dish TV and Tata-Sky, the latter a joint venture between the Tata group and Star TV.

Source: Business Standard

DTH rates set to tumble

February 12, 2007

New Delhi February 07, 2007: After years of suffering capricious cable operators, cable and satellite households will finally enjoy the upper hand.

With three more direct-to-home (DTH) operators set to enter the market by the year-end, subscribers can expect services at even cheaper rates.

Jawahar Goel, who heads Zee TV’s DTH operations, Dish TV, reckons that prices will be down 20 to 30 per cent once Bharti, Reliance and Sun TV join the fray.

That’s great news for the 25 lakh DTH homes in major cities but not so for the two existing players, Dish TV and Tata-Sky, the latter a joint venture between the Tata group and Star TV.

Source: Business Standard

Trai warns some MSOs against analogue streaming in Cas areas

January 10, 2007

6 January 2007, NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has warned all the MSOs that strict action would be taken against anyone beaming analogue signals in Cas (conditional access system) areas.

This was informed to the MSOs at a meeting at Trai office on Friday. Trai said that this would have to be stopped with immediate effect, as it went against the law. Trai advisor Rakesh Kakkar told that the the regulator would come down with a heavy hand on anyone beaming analogue signals, as has been happening in some cases.


WWIL to raise Rs 500 cr by March in debt, preferential issue

January 5, 2007

Kolkata, Jan 5. (PTI): Wire and Wireless India Ltd (WWIL), formerly Siti Cable Network Ltd and Indian CableNet Company, on Thursday said it would be listed on the bourses by January 10 and aimed to raise Rs 500 crore by March.

“WWIL is formed after restructuring of Zee Telefilms Ltd. We will invest Rs 800 crore over the next five years and to finance the capex we are raising Rs 500 crore by March in combination of equity and debt,” WWIL COO Jagjit Singh Kohli told PTI on the sidelines of launch of digital cable service packages in city.

“We will go for preferential allotment to institutions after WWIL gets listed by January 10,” Kohli added.


CAS implementation process sets in motion

August 4, 2006

The process for introducing the Conditional Access System (CAS) for tramsmission of TV programmes in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata by December 31 this year has formally started from August o1, 2006 with the government issuing a notification in this regard. Read the story in

Posted by Harikrishnan P V

Stakeholders oppose TRAI’s proposal to keep IPTV out of Cable Act

July 8, 2006

Major MSOs and broadcasters have strongly objected to TRAI’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) proposal to amend the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act to keep IPTV services out of the Act to facilitate its growth in the country.

“IPTV service is essentially cable TV service except that it is provided through a different technology. The fact that IPTV is technically unable to meet one or two technologically specific requirements of Cable Act does not mean that all the other consumer related obligations in that Act should be swept aside,” stakeholders commented.

“IPTV is similar to cable services in terms of content and mode of delivery, it would be appropriate to categorise it as a cable service rather than a telecom service under the Telegraph Act. The anomalies arising out of Sections 4A & 9 of the Cable Act should be addressed to remove the apparent inconsistencies rather than covering IPTV as a part of unified license,” they further said.

TRAI had observed that the Cable TV Act in its present form did not sufficiently address several issues relating to IPTV because when the Act was prepared in 1995, IPTV service had not even been conceived.

Issues like technological requirement of IPTV to deliver content through a set top box leads to non-compliance with the requirement of the Cable Act, 1995 about free-to-air channels not needing an addressable system. Use of different protocols by different companies and lack of standardisation for IPTV services also violates the requirement of the Act about use of equipment conforming to Indian standards.

But stakeholders felt that if IPTV platforms were excluded from the Cable Act, then to enjoy the privilege of equal access to content, they (telecom service providers) should also take the same responsibilities as cable and DTH platforms.

“Consumer protection regulations applicable to cable platforms (minimum number of channels in basic tier / maximum fee chargeable for basic tier / Tariff Orders) should equally apply to IPTV platforms,” stakeholders held.

“Given the nature of IPTV services, which is akin to cable services, the effort on the part of the Regulator should be to propose amendments that would serve the purpose of keeping IPTV within Cable Services domain rather than to suggest the ones which would take them away from the Cable Network Regulation Act. Except the two sections of the Act as mentioned by the Authority in the consultation paper, there is no difficulty in applying other provisions of the Act to cable services,” the further said.

The stakeholders also pointed out the anomaly in FDI limits in the broadcast industry. “A telecom company, which also wishes to provide IPTV services through cable should also be subjected to an FDI limit of 49 per cent as raising the FDI limit in cable sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent, would be against the basic policy of restricting FDI in the media sector. However, carving out IPTV from the purview of Cable Services would give undue advantage to IPTV and the telecom companies willing to provide IPTV services would be able to enjoy 74 per cent FDI, whereas cable companies providing IPTV services would be subjected to the 49 per cent limit.”

Stakeholders have also expressed their apprehension that IPTV service providers could turn content generators in future and thus could have inappropriate advantage. “Sectoral caps on FDI for the production and telecast of news content is at 26 per cent. It is apprehended that the IPTV service provider is in a position to create news content / produce news content by sitting in the news room and upload the same from their stream servers. This would completely circumvent the FDI regulation on news content and the very philosophy of the Government of India will be defeated and the existing Downlinking Policy of the Government of India dated November 11, 2005 would also get diluted.”

According to the stakeholders, instead of holding back cable operators from providing IPTV services, there is need to amend the Cable Television Act to provide all services including voice, video and data as it was included in the telecom policy. Applicability of FDI norms, downlinking guidelines and programme codes will have to be enforced on content services through any means… “otherwise the government will have no control on any content coming on the Internet through IPTV or streaming,” they observed.

The stakeholders who sent their comments include ASC Enterprises, MSO Alliance, Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI), Hathway, Reliance Infocomm, Ortel, Zee, Star, and Tata Teleservices among others.

Source: exchange4media

TRAI releases draft regulation for quality of services for CAS areas

July 8, 2006

The frequent change in position of one’s favourite TV channels and regular loss of signal may come down significantly, if the fresh draft proposal by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on quality of services for the metros, where CAS is to be implemented, sees light of the day. The regulator will make a final recommendation in this regard after due consultation with the stakeholders.

According to the draft, the cable operator now has to provide all detail relevant information, including services offered and rules under CAS, preferably in a local language. If a cable TV subscriber wishes to shift his cable operator, the request should be addressed within five working days.

In order to further empower the consumer under a CAS-enabled scenario, the regulator has proposed to make it mandatory for cable operator to maintain a customer service centre or helpdesk 12 hours a day, six days a week. “A facility for automatic recording of complaints or some other mechanism for registering of complaints should be in place during the period the helpdesk or service centre is not in operation,” the proposal stated.

In order to further rein in the cable operators, TRAI held that 90 per cent of complaints should be attended within four hours and that no more than 3 per cent of subscribers enrolled with the cable operator should require lodging a complaint against service interruption each month.

In cases where there is a malfunction of a set top box (STB) provided by the operator on rent, a cable operator will have to repair or replace the STB within 24 hours. In cases where a customer chooses to return an STB, the refund must be made within 15 days.

In case the installation and activation of the STB is delayed beyond 48 hours of the receipt of the subscriber’s request, the cable operator will have to give a rebate of Rs 15 per day for the first five days and Rs 10 per day for the subsequent period.

Cable operators now won’t be able to change the position of channels whimsically. They will have to notify subscribers at least three days in advance of such an occurrence. Further, it cannot disconnect a cable connection ‘for whatever reason’ without giving notice of at least 30 days clearly indicating the specific reasons for disconnection.

The new draft is a result of the agreement among all stakeholders during their discussions with the government that TRAI should formulate a standard form of agreement between cable operators and consumers.

The discussion was held between the stakeholders and the I&B Ministry after the Delhi High Court directed the government to implement Conditional Access System (CAS) in the three metros of Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi on a petition filed by a group of multi-service operators.


Content regulation draft to be redone

July 8, 2006

NEW DELHI: Unhappy with the draft that has been prepared on content regulation, information and broadcasting secretary SK Arora has asked the panel responsible to rework it.

Though no specific reasons were cited, the ministry is apparently unhappy with the way some of the issues have been dealt with as also the length of the 65-page draft, which is seen as being too unwieldy.

Earlier in the week, Arora, who heads a 30-member committee comprising representatives from industry, trade and consumer bodies, conveyed his observations to a sub-panel handling the content regulation draft.

However, no time frame has been set for the work to be redone, which is an indicator that the government might bring in such a regulation through an existing piece of legislation instead of waiting for the proposed Broadcast Bill 2006 to be enacted into law.

The draft aims at regulating and setting parameters for content to be aired on TV and radio networks, including broadcast of adult fare and sting ops done by news channels.

A peek into a section of this draft also highlights that the proposed legislation could not only hamper functioning of news channels, but is also intrusive.

If okayed by lawmakers in its present state, it could well be the end of sting operations and coverage of issues where high profile politicians and personalities are involved.

Sample this part: TV channels must not use material relating to persons personal or private affairs or which invades an individual’s privacy unless there is an identifiable public interest reason for the material to be broadcast.

Who decides what constitutes an individual’s privacy? The government or the regulator, of course.

Examples of public interest would include, according to the draft, revealing or detecting crime, protecting public health or safety, exposing misleading claims made by individuals or organizations or disclosing incompetence that affects the public.

Nowhere does the proposed regulation dwell on misuse of official power by a public personality — an issue that’s increasingly becoming rampant in India.

The draft then goes on to state that news should not jeopardize any ongoing criminal investigations and (TV channels) should avoid a trial by media since “a man is innocent till proven guilty by law”.

Now this could also mean that if a politician’s son is being tried by law for using drugs in the official residence, TV news should not do extensive coverage of the incident. However, the draft regulation is silent what should be done in case such accused themselves go on air and ‘use’ the media to influence opinion making.

“Channels mounting sting operations with use of hidden cameras and recording devices are required to strictly adhere to the rules prescribed,” the draft states, going on to put the onus on TV news channels of proving such a programme is in public interest.


Broadcast Bill: CAS law out, addressable systems in

July 8, 2006

MUMBAI: If the proposed Broadcast Bill 2006 does become law, it will not just be the requirement of a licence to operate that the cable fraternity will have to grapple with.

The other worrying aspect of the Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill 2006, for the MSOs in particular, is the fact that conditional access systems (CAS) has no place in the Bill’s scheme of things. If the proposed Bill, which is presently being circulated among members of the Union Cabinet, does become law, it effectively means that there will be no rollout of CAS in India. At least as far as the way it was originally mandated (a timebound rollout first the metros and then further afield) is concerned.

The cable industry is presently regulated by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995. This Act will automatically stand subsumed if (and that’s a BIG if) Parliament signs the Broadcast Bill into an Act of law. What this will mean also is that SEC 4A, the section through which CAS was introduced, would also get deleted.

Interestingly, there is a “savings clause” provided in the proposed Bill that protects CAS where it has already been implemented. Since Chennai is the only metro that is CAS-delivered, it could well end up being the only CAS market in the country.

The thinking of the information and broadcasting ministry mandarins on CAS comes through quite clearly in the wording that the draft Bill uses. It talks of the need to introduce a modified version of CAS that is “more consumer friendly” that it calls Addressable Systems.

And the road map for addressability is through going digital. The Bill proposes to progressively introduce addressable systems from a specified date with a cut-off date to complete the changeover from analogue to digital. And rather than a mandated CAS rollout, the Bill sees addressability coming in as a natural fallout of the phasing out of analogue and the gradual switchover to digital – a process that is going on in many markets across the globe.

An enabling clause in the Bill that eases the switchover to digital is also seen as allowing enough flexibility to make suitable changes or amendments where required.

The draft Broadcast Bill, which calls for the setting up of a separate Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India (Brai), has covered four major areas in its ambit, which include content, cross media ownership, subscriptions and live sports feeds (which are already part of the downlink norms).