Cable TV Network Rules: MIB Introduces Key Amendments

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has introduced significant changes to the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, to streamline Multi-System Operator (MSO) registration processes and promote internet accessibility, particularly in remote areas. The amendments are in alignment with the government’s commitment to ease of doing business, making the sector more appealing to foreign investment.

The key changes introduced in the MSO registration rules are as follows: –

  • Online Registration and Renewal

    MSOs must apply for registration or renewal online through the Broadcast Seva Portal of the Ministry, simplifying the application process.

  • Extended Validity

    MSO registrations will now be granted or renewed for a substantial period of ten years, enhancing operational stability.

  • Renewal Fee

    A processing fee of Rs. 1 lakh is applicable for the renewal of MSO registration.

  • Renewal Window

    To ensure service continuity, the application for renewal must be submitted within a window of seven to two months before the current registration expires.

  • Infrastructure Sharing for Internet Access

    An important addition to the rules is the provision for cable operators to share infrastructure with broadband service providers. This measure carries dual benefits; it enhances internet penetration and promotes efficient resource utilization, ultimately reducing the need for additional broadband infrastructure.

  • Support Available

    MSOs with registrations expiring within seven months can apply online via the Broadcast Seva Portal. A helpline number is available for assistance, and inquiries can be directed to the email ID specified.