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Broadcasters warn operators against beaming analogue signals after 31 Dec

MUMBAI: Broadcasters have notified multi-system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs) via email that they will disconnect signals to all those who have not signed interconnection agreements and are transmitting signals in unencrypted analogue manner.

The broadcasters had informed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) about the email notification during a meeting held on 18 December.

“Broadcasters individually have written to MSOs and LCOs that signals will be disconnected if there is no agreement or if they provide signals in unencrypted analogue manner. Individual broadcasters have sent the mail,” says a source close to the development.

In Phases I and II, the industry had done a genre-wise switch-off many days before the deadline. The intention was to accelerate the process of set-top box (STB) seeding in view of the approaching deadlines.

“There is no genre-wise switch-off this time. There will be switch-off of signals straight away after 31 December,” the source added.

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) and TRAI have repeatedly reiterated that the deadline for Phase III would not be extended under any circumstances.

Apprehending TRAI action, Tamil Nadu government-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation had moved the Madras High Court seeking a status quo until the government decided on its MSO application to operate in DAS. The HC directed the government to maintain status quo until 6 January 2016.

Similarly, the Nashik Zilla Cable Operators Association (NZCOA) had filed an application in the Bombay High Court seeking extension of DAS Phase III deadline until the TRAI notified the draft interconnection agreement for which it had invited comments from the stakeholders.