TRAI recommends STB interoperability for Digital TV broadcasting services

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released recommendations on interoperability of Set-Top-Boxes (STBs) for digital TV broadcasting services. The regulatory body recommends that every STB in India must support technical interoperability. Currently, the same STBs cannot be used interchangeably across different service providers.

The recommendations say that Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) may include a suitable clause/condition in the permission/registration/cable television network rule mandating all DPOs to compulsorily facilitate service provisioning through interoperable STBs either provided by DPOs or procured by the customer in the open market.

Since there are technical and commercial constraints to universal STBs, TRAI has mandated DPOs to consult the existing clause/condition as prescribed in the DTH/cable segment to know where interoperability is applicable.

MIB may notify stakeholders of the new provision either through a change in licensing conditions or as an amendment in Cable Television Network Rules 1994 as per Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 or through any appropriate mechanism where mandatory use of DVB C+ 2.0 standards (with USB CAM) as per ETSI TS 103 605 standards both for DTH STBs and STBs being used by MSOs from a prospective date.

A period of 6 months may be given to both DTH operators and MSOs to adopt the new standards from the date of MIB notification. MIB may also coordinate with BIS so that suitable amendments are brought during this time frame.

The authority recommends mandatory provisioning of USB port based Common Interface for all digital television sets in India and setting up of a Coordination and Implementation Committee.


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