TRAI to be broadcast industry regulator

NEW DELHI : The Indian government has decided that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) would be the body that would regulate the broadcasting sector too.

A notification in this regard is slated to be issued later today or latest by tomorrow. The law ministry has okayed the proposal, government sources told The law ministry also advised the information and broadcasting ministry that taking piecemeal decisions on issues like CAS, permissions for uplinking, etc. is not the right way to go about addressing the needs of the broadcasting industry that is not only growing, but is also attracting a lot of investment.

The government decided to appoint TRAI as a regulator as in the TRAI Act itself there is a provision that the body would take up issues and sectors, apart from telecom, as notified by the government from time to time.

Notifying TRAI as the regulator for the broadcasting sector can be termed as a good decision on the part of I&B minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. It would mean that TRAI would now take a final call on the rollout of CAS, currently being implemented in a haphazard fashion in South Delhi.

Under its terms of reference, TRAI would not only be responsible for licensing issues related to the broadcasting sector, but would also take up technical issues like standardization of set-top boxes.

As part of its mandate, TRAI would also look at issues like capping advertising time on pay channels as per norms prevalent globally.

Stay tuned for further details...

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