Regulators

TRAI introduces new regulations for technical compliance of CAS & SMS

The framework is expected to put an end to content piracy

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KOLKATA: In a bid to put an end to content piracy in the pay TV ecosystem, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday amended the interconnection regulations 2017, incorporating a framework for technical compliance of CAS & SMS.

The authority has been receiving several complaints about the unauthorized distribution of signals and under-declaration of subscribers by distribution platforms, despite the implementation of the new regulatory digitization of the cable TV industry.

“Sub-standard CAS and SMS also render the distribution network vulnerable to hacking and content piracy,” it said in a statement.

According to TRAI, the framework is the first step to define an indigenous set of specifications in the line of international standards. A tightly synchronised working of CAS and SMS, as specified by the framework, will enable factual reporting of subscriber base etc. Eventually, this will reduce the revenue loss to stakeholders on account of erroneous subscription reporting.  

“Better assurance of due revenue, in turn, may encourage the stakeholders to invest for further improvement in quality of content and service thereby benefiting the end consumer,” TRAI noted. Moreover, it will also usher-in better content security in the distribution value chain.

The authority came out with a consultation paper seeking views on standardization of these systems last April. It also held an open house discussion later. The comments of the stakeholders received by TRAI during the consultation process were analysed. In view of the technical nature of the matter, the Authority decided to form a committee of members across the industry, related institutions.

The committee, after extensive deliberations, recommended introducing a testing and certification regime for CAS and SMS to ensure better conformity to the standards and to improve the customer experience.

Distribution platform operators will now need to obtain certification for their CAS and SMS systems from the certification and testing agency. The framework will be implemented through a testing and certification agency.

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