The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has asked multi system operators and broadcasters to sign interconnect agreements by 30 April. The regulator wants MSOs and broadcasters to resolve their issues and quicken the digitisation drive in India.
Deadline for implementation of Phase III of digital addressable system (DAS) is 31 December, 2015. “We have asked the MSOs and broadcasters to sign agreements for DAS Phase III by 30 April. They need to start discussions at least so that they can come to some kind of an understanding by April end,” said a TRAI official.
According to media reports, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has said that the seeding of set-top boxes in Phase III has been low. A task force meeting was held on 13 March to get all the stakeholders to come to an agreement regarding the digitisation plan. Around 3.1 million STBs have been seeding under the Phase III. Currently, around 0.55 million STBs are available with MSOs and about 2.35 million have been ordered for purchase.
MSO representatives have said that they are finding it difficult to plan digitisation due to issues over content costing. Broadcasters, however, have said that the MSOs haven’t approached them for interconnect agreements in new areas.