The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Register of Interconnection Agreements and all such other matters Regulations, 2019 to formulate the outline of a reporting system for the service providers.
The primary objective of register of interconnect regulations is to formulate the outline of a reporting system for the service providers so that they can report details of interconnection agreements including commercial details to the Authority. It would enable the authority to maintain register of interconnect as per provisions of TRAI Act.
TRAI issued a consultation paper on the issue back in 2016 to simplify the process, avoid duplication of reports, and formulate its view on various issues such as accessibility of information of register. Draft Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Register of Interconnection Agreements Regulations, 2019 was issued by the authority in April 2019 on the back of the comments on the consultation paper and then an open house discussion was followed by that.
As per the release, the objective of this regulation is to promote transparency and non discrimination in the broadcasting sector. As per the new regulation, all Reference Interconnect Offers (RIO) are required to be filed by every Broadcaster & the Distributor of Television channels. Initially, the distributor having average active subscriber base below one lakh have been exempted from the obligation of reporting details of interconnection agreements to promote ease of business and reducing regulatory burden on such MSOs with limited resources.
The new regulation envisages online filing in electronic mode. The authority has specified that the new regulations will come in force in 120 days, except as regards submission of information related to compliance officer. The intervening period will enable the service provider to prepare for easy compliance, TRAI added in the release.