Interoperable Set Top Boxes: TRAI
- 14 Apr 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
Recently, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that all Set Top Boxes (STBs) in the country must be made interoperable.
- It means that consumers should be able to use the same STB across different DTH (direct-to-home) or cable TV providers.
- STBs deployed in the cable TV networks are non-interoperable. STBs in the DTH players comply with licence conditions to support common interface module based interoperability. So, in practice, they are also not readily interoperable.
- Issues due to the lack of interoperability:
- It deprives the customer of the freedom to change her/his service provider.
- Creates a hindrance to technological innovation and improvement in service quality.
- Hampers the overall sector growth.
- Universal STB has technical and commercial constraints so the interoperability should be platform-specific.
- Interoperable STBs within the cable TV segment and similarly within the DTH segment should be developed.
- The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been suggested to make the required amendments in licensing and registration conditions to make interoperability mandatory.
- It has also been recommended to set up a coordination committee to steer implementation of revised STB standards for both the DTH and the cable TV segments.
- The committee may maintain continuous oversight for setting up of the digital TV standards by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
- It was established by an Act of Parliament (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997) to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services.
- It provides a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
- The TRAI Act was amended to establish a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.
- TDSAT was set up to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI.