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Govt allows Cable TV infrastructure sharing with broadband providers

The government has notified amendments to the Cable Television Network Rules-1994, that grant registration for multi-system operators for a 10-year period and make the process online through the Broadcast Seva Portal.

The amended rules for MSO registration also enable the sharing of infrastructure by cable operators with broadband service providers to promote internet penetration to the last mile.

Besides shifting the process of registration and renewal of MSOs to online mode through the Broadcast Seva Portal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the amended rules make it clear that registration shall be granted or renewed for a period of 10 years.

The processing fee of Rs 1 lakh is kept for the renewal of registration, the rules said.

According to the rules, the application for registration renewal shall be made within a window of seven to two months before the expiry of the registration.

“The renewal procedure is in line with the government’s commitment to ease of doing business as it will provide certainty to cable operators to continue their services without interruption and therefore make the sector attractive for foreign investment,” an official statement said.

The ministry has further said that MSOs whose registration is expiring within seven months are required to apply online through the Broadcast Seva Portal.

Earlier, only fresh MSO registrations were granted under the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.

The rules also did not specify the period of validity for MSO registrations, nor did they recognise the mandatory filing of online applications.

The inclusion of a provision related to the sharing of infrastructure by cable operators with broadband service providers will provide the twin benefits of enhanced internet penetration and efficient utilisation of resources.

It will also reduce the need for additional infrastructure for broadband services, the statement said. PTI

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