The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed all multi-system operators (MSOs) functioning in the Phase II areas of Digital Addressable System (DAS) to operationalise their subscriber management system (SMS).
TRAI has also asked MSOs to furnish a compliance report by 29 November. Earlier, the beleaguered MSOs had failed to meet the 15 November deadline to collect customer application forms (CAFs) from all their cable TV subscribers in Phase II cities.
With this latest directive, TRAI wants to ensure that the signals of TV channels are transmitted to only those subscribers whose consumer application forms (CAF) have been collected and the complete details along with choice of channels/bouquets have been entered in the SMS.
The sector regulator has issued the direction under section 13 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 and regulation 20 of the Standards of Quality of Service (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems) Regulations, 2012.
The regulation 20 of the Standards QoS said that every MSO will have to establish, set up and operationalise its SMS before providing cable services through DAS.
The SMS will have to comply with the digital addressable cable TV system requirement for ensuring efficient and error-free service to the subscribers by recording and providing individualized preferences for channels, billing cycles or refunds.
The sector regulator has off late been acting tough with MSOs operating in DAS notified areas covered under Phase I and II for not complying with the cable TV regulations.
It had earlier asked the MSOs to send a compliance report on the status of subscriber billing in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata by 15 November. It had also taken broadcasters in Chennai to task by questioning them about the incidences of analogue signal transmission in the city.
This is not the first time that TRAI has directed MSOs to comply with the SMS guidelines. The authority had on 26 April 2013 directed all the MSOs operating in DAS notified areas to set up and operationalise their SMS.
The sector regulator had also asked the MSOs to disconnect TV signals of those subscribers whose details have not been entered into the SMS and allow such subscribers to surrender their STBs and give them full refund in accordance with the Cable Televisions Networks Rules, 1994.