Trai Appoints Nine Agencies to Audit Addressable Systems of DPOs

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In line with the new Telecom Regulatory Framework, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has appointed nine agencies to conduct an audit of the Digital Addressable Systems (DAS). The list of these auditors include CA Anil Kumar Jain, Borkar & Muzumdar, Peeyush Vaish, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, Rahul Shah, Associate Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, Jitendra Kumar Sarawgi, Managing Partner, J.K. Sarawgi & Company, Jeenendra Bhandari, Partner, MGB & Co LLP, Koushik Balasubramanian, Senior Director, Protiviti India Member, Laxmikant Saini, Partner, S. M Saini & Associates;, Gaurav Mittal, Partner, S.K. Mittal & Co. Chartered Accountants, and Vishwanath Kumar Seshadari, Director, Xestion Advisor.

Firms to be Empanelled for Two Year Period

It was back in March, when the telecom regulator had issued a tender document inviting expression of interest from eligible audit firms, companies or LLPs. The tender document entailed the empanelment of auditors to carry out an audit of DAS of the distribution platform operators. The regulator has noted that the concerned firm will be empanelled for a period of two years from the date of empanelment. These empanelled firms will then have to submit quarterly reports about the audits that they conduct in the particular quarter. The reports would have to be submitted within 21 days after the end of the quarter. Also, these firms have been said to report any discrepancy if noticed in the DAS of the DPOs during the audit.

Auditors to Also Look Beyond DAS

The major goal of the audit of DAS of the DPOs will be to ensure that whether the addressable system being used by the distributor of television channels qualifies by the rules specified in the Schedule III of Interconnection Regulations, 2017. The DAS won’t be the only thing that the auditors will be auditing, but they will also have to look at subscriber management system, conditional access system and other related systems once in a year and this will be to make sure that the monthly subscription reports issued by the distributor are complete and true. The audit will also ensure that the DPO is maintaining necessary systems, processes and records which fall in line with the new regulatory framework 2017, the quality of service regulations and the tariff order.

The audit agencies will also be taking responsibilities as part of this arrangement, and they will be going in a confidentiality agreement with the service provider or Trai. The sector regulator has also said that each DPO should cause an audit and provide the audit report to Trai. The DPOs will also be required to provide access to CAS, SMS servers and related addressable system to the auditor. Also, as a means to provide an opportunity for clarifications, a draft report would be shared by the Auditee. The DPOs should then give their comments within seven days, failing which, the auditor will move ahead to finalise the report.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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