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MIB seeks broadcasters’ help to identify unregistered MSOs in DAS IV areas

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has sought the help of broadcasters to track down multi-system operators (MSOs) who are yet to apply for digital addressable system (DAS) licence in Phase IV areas.

During the recent DAS Task Force meeting, MIB joint secretary (broadcasting) R Jaya asked the representatives of broadcasters to send the ministry a list of Phase IV MSOs who have not applied for MSO licence by 7 August.

Jaya said that the ministry had issued 965 MSO registrations so far and about 200 applications were under process.

Since there are about 6,000 MSOs in the country, as per TRAI report, it is apparent that a large number of MSOs have not applied for MSO registration so far.

Jaya said that broadcasters should be having the details of all MSOs operating in Phase IV areas. These details could be crosschecked with the list of registered MSOs on the MIB website to identify the MSOs who were yet to apply for registration, she said.

She added that as a next step the broadcasters should communicate with these MSOs and ask them to apply for MSO registration if they want to continue to operate as MSOs in DAS-notified areas.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) representative SK Singhal said that out of 900 TV channels, about 600 channels are free to air (FTA), and that about 2,000 local cable operators (LCOs) distribute these channels from their headends. He said that the state governments could ask these LCOs to apply for MSO registration.

The ministry requested the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and Association of Regional Television Broadcasters of India (ARTBI) to tell their members to check with the MSOs with whom they have interconnection agreements if they have taken MSO registration from the ministry for Phase IV areas.

In case, they have not applied for MSO registration, the broadcasters have been told to advise them to do so immediately.

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