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Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Trai issues consultation paper on CAS, SMS compliance

Trai says has received complaints from various broadcasters regarding the distribution of pirated signals, much of which occurs due to the deployment of CAS or SMS that do not comply with security protocols

NEW DELHI : The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has issued a consultation paper seeking comments on standardising CAS (conditional access system) and SMS (subscriber management systems) systems for broadcast and cable TV.

Pursuant to the full digitisation of the cable sector in India, which concluded by 31 June 2017, and is aimed at bringing in transparency among service providers and allowing a consumer-specific choice of TV channels, the focus should now be on CAS and SMS as Trai terms them as “core systems to deliver the broadcasting services to consumers as per their individual choices by enabling encryption to ensure security."

Existing technical requirements for CAS and SMS are generic in nature and allow for different types of systems to co-exist in the ecosystem. While some of the CAS systems deployed are using advanced embedded security, others are based on non-standard solutions, making them vulnerable to hacking, and putting content security at risk. Most CAS companies do not have their own SMS, middleware and user interface which increases the dependency of distribution platform owners on third-party software solutions.

Trai said that it has received complaints from various broadcasters regarding the distribution of pirated signals, much of which occurs due to the deployment of CAS or SMS that do not comply with security protocols as per extant standards. The regulatory authority sees the need for compliance with minimum technical specifications before CAS or SMS systems are installed and has brought out the consultation paper to deliberate upon the deployment of sub-standard systems, underlying ill effects and possible remedial measures.

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