Plan panel urges deregulation in telecom sector

NEW DELHI: At a time when the government is attempting to push through a Central legislation to mandate what people should see (or not see) on television and what sort of technology should be used for set-top boxes, the Planning Commission has said that "deregulation" is the need of the hour. 

"There is a need for moving away towards a lighter regulatory stance which is less directly involved in product launches of firms," the Planning Commission in its approach paper for the 10th five-year plan has said, hinting that in an era where increasing convergence will take place between telecommunications, IT and broadcasting government involvement should be minimal. 

In the section on telecom, a copy of which is available with, the Planning Commission's comprehensive paper says that it is important for policy makers to steer clear of decisions (such as the closed user group policy or restrictions on voice over Internet protocol) that prevent economic agents from pursuing optimal paths.

"Currently, government is involved in every new technology that arises in telecom (as also in other sectors of convergence). Whether we discuss VSAT or VoIP, it has not been possible for private players to proceed on building firms and launching products without reference to the State. This has a wide variety of negative ramifications such as delays, political pressures, anti-competitive devices to block new technology, etc," the Planning Commission has observed.

It may be worthwhile mentioning here, as an aside, that earlier in the year the Planning Commission had also observed that the policy guidelines relating to KU-band direct-to-home (DTH) TV services are restrictive and need to be reviewed as even after 18 months of the policy announcement no investment had been made in this sector. 

In its approach paper for the 10th five-year plan, the plan panel has cited an example to highlight how constant government involvement where technology is concerned hampers newer technologies from entering the country.

Pointing out that a new vehicle for delivering broadband Internet services - the 802.11 standard - should be possible for firms to rollout 802.11 products and immediately impact the market, the plan panel has said: "However, in the current regulatory climate, it is likely that this will require taking permissions, await the drafting of the 802.11 policy which will generate political roadblocks, etc."

Going beyond policies that uphold connections between consenting economic agents, there is also a need to proceed with the complete deregulation of value-added services such as e-mails, ISPs, etc, where the services being produced are not public goods and, hence, can be handled by purely private competitive markets. 

Latest Reads
Sunny Leone in Discovery JEET’s show Man Vs Wild

Sunny Leone will be displaying her adventurous side as host of the mega-popular survival series Man Vs. Wild. The iconic series will telecast in Hindi on the soon-to-be-launched GEC Discovery JEET. The new GEC will premiere in the second week of February 2018 and the series will feature the...

Television TV Channels GECs
Times Now appoints Sujeet Mishra as marketing head

Times Network, part of India’s media conglomerate, The Times Group today announced the appointment of Sujeet Mishra as head of marketing, Times Now.

Television TV Channels People
Experience space with BBC's new VR experience

The BBC is giving you a chance fly. Home - A VR Spacewalk is an interactive virtual reality (VR) experience launched today for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, and is available to download for free via the Steam Store and the Oculus Store.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Sony BBC Earth presents the Best of 2017

Sony BBC Earth revisits some of its most popular episodes of the best shows in a special programming line-up titled Best of 2017 starting 18 December 2017, every night at 7 pm and 11 pm.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Increased revenue from traditional media boosts Shemaroo numbers

Integrated media content house Shemaroo Entertainment Limited (Shemaroo) reported 18.3 percent higher year-on-year (y-o-y) consolidated total revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18, the quarter under review) stood at Rs 1,345.7 million as compared with Rs 1,138.6 million in...

Television Production House Film Production
21st CF spins-off into new live news & sports co Fox

MUMBAI: After the blockbuster acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company, the former has announced that it will spinoff into a new brand Fox’ that will seek to replicate its own success in the newly focussed verticals of live news and sports brands. Using fiscal 2017 as a base, the...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
With Star India, Disney emerges as India's largest M&E firm

MUMBAI: Unlike the US, where the merger of The Walt Disney Co and 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets is between two near equals, the scenario in India is totally different. 21st Century Fox’s India venture Star India is a $1.7 billion dollar media and entertainment behemoth while Disney India...

Television TV Channels People
Disney to buy 21st Century Fox assets for $52.4 billion

The Walt Disney Co has set up a $52.4 billion, all-stock deal to acquire 20th Century Fox and other entertainment and sports assets from Rupert Murdoch’s empire.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
MOVIES NOW brings #StopDreamingAndStartWinning with 100 Mania Season 5 for its viewers

Movies Now, India’s english movie channel, rings in the festive season with its property ‘100 Mania’, beginning Friday, 15 December at 9pm. In its 5th season, the channel has curated a line-up of some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters like Furious 7, Jurassic World, Disney’s The Jungle Book,...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories