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TRAI Releases Consultation Paper on Empanelment of Auditors for DAS

TRAI has released consultation paper on the empanelment of auditors for digital addressable systems (DAS) for the broadcasting and cable sector. The Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017, dated March 3, 2017, have provision relating to technical audit and subscription audit wherein it has been provided that the authority may empanel auditors for this purpose. Presently, these regulations are sub-judiced in the High Court of Madras and Delhi. This consultation paper is a preparatory work before calling proposals for empanelment of auditors, and has no bearing on the said regulations or ongoing litigations. All the distributors are required to install digital headends including subscriber management system and conditional access system for distributing signals of TV channels through DAS. To have a level playing field amongst all the distributors, the authority has prescribed minimum technical specifications for addressable systems. Technical audit of a DAS of a distributor is commissioned by the broadcaster to satisfy itself that the distributor, to whom it is likely to provide TV signals, meets the addressable system requirements specified in the regulations. Subscription audit focuses on ascertaining the subscriber numbers being reported by the distributor to the broadcaster. The consultation paper seeks views of stakeholders on various audit-empanelment related issues such as scope of audit, eligibility criteria and experience, length of empanelment, audit fee and payment terms, time period for completion of audit work, de-empanelment, and reporting requirements of auditors.


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