Trai releases amended interconnection regulations for cable and broadcasting services

15 Sep 2023


Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has come out with fresh amendments to the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems)) Regulations, 2023.

The Fifth Amendment is part of the government’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) system. DRM is a systematic approach to copyright protection for digital media, which aims to prevent unauthorised redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways consumers can copy content they have purchased. 

DRM products were developed to address the rapid increase in online piracy of commercially marketed material, which proliferated through the widespread use of peer-to-peer file exchange programs. DRM is implemented by embedding code that prevents copying, specifies a time period in which the content can be accessed or limits the number of devices the media can be installed on.

Trai first notified the Telecommunication (Broadcasting & Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable System) Regulation on 3 March 2017].

The latest amendments follow consultation undertaken to prepare the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Digital Addressable Systems Audit Manual.

During consultations, the Authority received comments and suggestions from various stakeholders on this issue. Stakeholders also proposed numerous modification/additions. Hence, the Authority decided that the system requirements for DRM should be dealt with in a separate consultation paper.

The Authority was of the view that the issues related to “System Requirements for Digital Right Management System” required extensive deliberations with industry stakeholders. Accordingly, the Authority constituted a committee comprising of industry stakeholders to prepare and submit draft ‘System Requirement for Digital Right Management’ to the Authority.

After extensive deliberations, the committee submitted a report on “System requirement for Digital Right Management” to be included in Schedule III of the Interconnection Regulation to the Authority.

Accordingly, Trai issued Consultation Paper on ‘System Requirement for Digital Right Management’ in the form of draft amendment in the Interconnection Regulation 2017 on 9 September 2022. Stakeholders’ comments were invited by 7 October 2022 and counter comments, by 21 October 2022. The deadline to submit stakeholder comments was extended till 18 November 2022 and for counter comments till 2 December 2022. After receiving comments on the consultation paper, Trai held an  open house discussion on 24 February 2023. A few additional comments were also received after the open house.

The Authority said the amendments are intended to protect the interests of service providers and consumers. The main features of the amendments are as follows:


A new schedule X has been prescribed for Digital Rights Management (DRM) System Requirements relate to:

DRM requirements in so far as they relate to subscriber management systems (SMS) for IPTV services.

DRM requirements for conditional access by subscribers and encryption for IPTV services.

DRM requirements in so far as they relate to fingerprinting for IPTV services

DRM requirements in so far as they relate to STBs/unique consumer subscription

Full text of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) (Fifth Amendment) Regulations, 2023 (4 of 2023) is available on the TRAI's website For any clarification, Shri Anil Kumar Bhardwaj, Advisor (B&CS) may be contacted at Tel. No.: +91-11-23237922.


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