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Indian regulator to issue digital directive soon

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been legally sanctioned to issue a tariff order for digital TV, after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting notified the Cable Television Networks Rules 2012 on Saturday (28 April).

The tariff order and other directives will be issued to cable operators and multi system operators (MSOs) shortly, according to an unnamed ministry source who spoke to Indian Television.

TRAI will specify the minimum number of digital television channels to be carried on cable networks as part of the directive, which will also reportedly demand that operators set up a grievance scheme to properly deal with customer complaints.

An INR 100,000 processing fee for digital registration must also be submitted by MSOs: ten times the current fee for registering cable services in India.

Registration for MSOs will now be with the central government, although local cable operators will remain registered with the Head Post Office closest to their office and within in their coverage area.

The mandatory digitisation of India's cable TV network is to be completed nationwide by 31 December 2014, with the first phase – in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai - completed by 30 June 2012.

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