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TRAI issues regulations to improve technical compliance of CAS and SMS

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) notified the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2021 (1 of 2021), on 11th June 2021 which provides for a framework for technical compliance of CAS & SMS. The said framework is incorporated as Schedule IX in the Interconnection Regulations, 2017.

The amended Interconnection Regulations, 2017 envisions the operationalization and oversight of the framework for CAS and SMS which is to be carried out through a Testing and Certification Agency. The TRAI designated Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), Department of Telecommunications as an agency to, inter alia, notify and maintain Test Schedules and Test Procedures for Conditional Access System (CAS) and Subscriber Management System (SMS)” as per the requirements specified under Schedule IX of the Interconnection Regulations, 2017, empanel/declare the list of accredited labs that fulfill the requirements for carrying out the testing as per the defined Test Schedules and Test Procedures and provide certification for all products tested and certified by the accredited testing labs. Accordingly, TEC has released the Test Guides, certification procedure namely “Certification procedure for certification of Conditional Access System (CAS) and Subscriber Management System (SMS)” and it has also accredited an agency for testing of CAS and SMS as per the Test Guide. TEC is in the process of accrediting more testing labs for carrying out such testing.

The certification process would enable the standardisation of CAS and SMS in the systems deployed by Distribution Platform Operators, which would enable access of only subscribed television channels to the subscribers and thereby ensuring a check on piracy. Also, the broadcasters will get their fair share of revenues.

Today on 9th August, 2023, TRAI has issued an order to all the Distribution Platform Operators that in case a new CAS/SMS is to be deployed on or after 01st March 2024, then they should only deploy such CAS and SMS systems that are tested by a testing lab accredited by TEC and certified by TEC or any other agency as designated by the Authority for the purpose of compliance with the requirements of Schedule IX of the Interconnection Regulations, 2017. Further, the Distribution Platform Operators are required to get their existing CAS and SMS upgraded to such CAS and SMS that are duly tested and certified by TEC to meet the requirements specified under Schedule IX of the Interconnection Regulations, 2017 on or before 1st March 2025.

CT Bureau

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