Trai recommends digitalisation of cable in urban centres by 2010

NEW DELHI: Broadcast regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today recommended that the first phase of digitalisation of cable TV should start from April 2006 and that such a service would help providing more choice to consumers.



In its recommendations on Digitalisation of Cable Television, released today, Trai exhorted the Central government to advise the states to spend on education of consumers between 2006 and 2010 when the first phase of digitalization process is to end, coinciding with the Commonwealth games in Delhi.

The recommendations were issued after a detailed process of consultation with stakeholders.

Pointing out that consumers would benefit from digitalisation of cable TV in India, Trai has said, “By providing digital service and upgradation of networks, MSOs and cable operators will also be able to compete more effectively with new technologies for delivery of content on television.”

Digitalisation of cable television has already started in the country in a limited way and the policies proposed in the recommendations are expected to give this process a further momentum as well as provide a framework for regulation.

The recommendations provide for a voluntary approach to digitalisation on behalf of both the operators as well as the consumers.

Accordingly, during the first phase of 2006-2010, Trai has proposed that digital services should be made available in all cities/urban agglomerations with a population of 1 million plus.

In all these cities, the existing analogue service will continue

simultaneously. Digital services have already commenced in the five cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Bangalore.



The draft national plan calls for rationalisation of excise and customs duties as well as expediting the provision of right of way.

Trai has also suggested that central government should recommend to the States that the proceeds of the entertainment tax during these four years (2006 -2010) should be used for an intensive consumer education programme.

This would also help state governments in increasing their

tax base.

The recommendations also provide for a framework for licensing. This involves automatic licensing for existing operators and a non-exclusive automatic licensing process for new operators, subject to compliance with certain minimum conditions.

This licensing framework will help in future regulation as well as in administering the incentives proposed in the recommendations. Trai’s suggestions to the government also envisage the development of digital decoders whose adoption would, however, be voluntary and left to the operators and consumers to decide upon.

It has been recommended that there should also be a clear policy framework for headend in the sky (HITS), which could be on the lines of the permission already given by the government for one operator.

Some of the important recommendations include the following:

# Digital TV transmission offers a number of advantages over analogue, including better reception quality, increased channel carrying capacity, new features such as programme guides, multi-view and interactive services as well as potential to provide triple-play

# There should be a national plan for digitalisation from 1 April, 2006 till 31 March, 2010. This plan would be indicative and would not be mandatory in any form.

# Rationalisation of import and domestic duties by 1 April 2006.

# Custom duties on set-top boxes for cable televisions reduced from 15 per cent to 10 per cent.

# Excise duty increased from nil to 8 per cent and import duty on ICs reduced from 15 per cent to 8 per cent.

# No person shall be allowed to offer a digital service after 1 April 2006 without a licence for such services.

#License would be required for putting up a headend and providing signals to cable operators, but the licensee will also be allowed to provide services directly to consumers.

# All operators who have an analogue headend on the date of notification of the policy will be allowed a digital licence on an automatic basis, but they will have to apply separately for this.

#To ensure entry of serious players, all licensees would be required to provide a bank guarantee of Rs.50 lakhs (5 million) for each city/urban agglomeration of over one million and of Rs.25 lakhs (2.5 million) for each city/urban agglomeration that has a population of less than one million in case such a city is also considered for a digital license.

# Since digital operators would be operating in wide areas with jurisdictions falling under a number of authorised officers, the licensing authority for digital services should be the central government.

# The license period should be 15 years, which may be extended for a period of 5 years.

#To have consistency in policy and provide level playing field between competing technologies, there is need for a complete review of the FDI policy so that it is consistent across all sectors.

The details of Trai’s recommendations on digitalization of cable TV could be accessed from the organisation’s website,

Latest Reads
Prasar Bharati lacks content & marketing; open to tie-ups: MIB Minister

NEW DELHI: Conceding that Prasar Bharati is lagging in both content and marketing, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting (MIB) Rajyavardhan Rathore on Wednesday said there was a need to bring in outside experts for improving these aspects.

Regulators I&B Ministry
MIB favours self-regulation, TRAI says some regulation mandatory

NEW DELHI: Even as he favoured the idea of self-regulation in the media, Minister for Information and Broadcasting (MIB) M Venkaiah Naidu stressed that “regulation should not become strangulation” and added the government wants to be a facilitator for creating a good business environment for the...

Regulators I&B Ministry
FM Phase III e-auction tomorrow

NEW DELHI: The e-auctions for the second batch of Radio FM Phase III has been put off by a day to 26 October 2016.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI tariff order, interconnect regulations; date for responses extended

NEW DELHI: Stakeholders wanting to give in their reactions to the latest draft Tariff order for Digital Addressable Systems, the Quality of Service and Consumer Protection Regulations, and the draft interconnect regulations have been given time till 15 November 2016 to respond.

Regulators TRAI
FM P-III auction: EMD, bidders initial eligibility declared

NEW DELHI: Even as the day of the e-auction of the second batch of FM Phase III on 25 October 2016 approaches, the Government has released the earnest money deposit (EMD) by the pre-qualified bidders and the initial eligibility points (IEP) of each of these.

Regulators I&B Ministry
FM P-III second batch auction from 25 Oct; 14 in fray

NEW DELHI: The e-auction of the second batch of FM Phase III will commence on 25 October 2016 from 09.30am.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Free data, net neutrality: Discussion on TRAI paper to be held

Given the complicated issues around net neutrality, an open house discussion is to be held in Hyderabad this month on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s consultation paper on free data. The OHD will be held at Hotel Trident in the Telangana capital on 24 October 2016.

Regulators TRAI
Prasar Bharati advisor reviews DD marketing and policies

Former Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) Secretary and now Prasar Bharati advisor Sunil Arora yesterday asked Doordarshan to adopt the best policies of the industry, even as he approved the planned auction of slots on DD National.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Suresh Panda may be Prasar Bharati interim CEO; liberal DD auction criteria recommended

Suresh Panda, member (personnel) in Prasar Bharati is expected to take over as the acting chief executive officer of the pubcaster after the incumbent CEO Jawhar Sircar demits office on 4 November.

Regulators People

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories