Regulators

FCC commissioner Tom Wheeler proposes universal TV set-top-box

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/regulators-images/2016/01/28/Federal-Communications-Commission.jpg?itok=dkYjPqmN

MUMBAI: In an attempt to overhaul the rules for television, tear down anti-competitive barriers and pave the way for software, devices and other innovative solutions to compete with set-top boxes (STBs), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed universal STBs for television, which would allow consumers to view traditional cable and streaming video content on television.

Wheeler is targeting a vote on 18 February by the five-member FCC on a proposal to overhaul the rules for STBs, which connect to cable, satellite and fiberoptic video systems.

The proposed regulation would let customers get video services from providers instead of cable, satellite and other television providers.

“Ninety-nine per cent of pay-TV subscribers are chained to their set-top boxes because cable and satellite operators have locked up the market,” the FCC said.

According to the FCC, Americans spent $20 billion a year to lease pay-TV boxes, or an average of $231 a year. STB rental fees have jumped 185 per cent since 1994, while the cost of TVs, computers and mobile phones have dropped by 90 per cent.

Recognising the importance of a competitive marketplace, the Congress directed the Commission to adopt rules that will ensure consumers will be able to use the device they prefer for accessing programming they’ve paid for.

The FCC said that the only change it was proposing was to allow consumers alternative means of accessing the content they pay for.

Wheeler’s proposal will create a framework for providing innovators, device manufacturers and app developers the information they need to develop new technologies. Consumers should be able to choose how they access the Multichannel Video Programming Distributor’s (MVPDs) – cable, satellite or telco companies – video services to which they subscribe.

“A competitive marketplace is required by a 1996 law. Set-top boxes should be open to pay-TV rivals using formats that conform to specifications set by an independent, open standards body,” the FCC said.

The proposal will help promote interoperability and remove barriers to innovation, prevent theft and misuse, lift up independent and minority programming content, honour the sanctity of contracts by providing copyright protection,  provide consumer protection by offering emergency alerts, privacy and advertising restrictions.

It will also offer consumers more choice, greater flexibility, increased innovation, more competition and better prices.

While the proposal has been welcomed by some, others have pooh-poohed it.

“The promising slate of reforms proposed by (the chairman) could potentially allow consumers greater access to the content that they pay for, granting greater control over when, where, and how they want to access it, on the device they choose, without being locked into constant, unnecessary fees and excruciating installation and repair appointments,” said National Hispanic Media Coalition vice president of policy Michael Scurato.

RLJ Entertainment chairman and Black Entertainment Television chairman Robert L. Johnson also came out in support of FCC’s proposal.

Johnson said, “In my opinion, this is the best decision that the FCC has made to increase minority diversity in media content distribution since the Commission championed the tax certificate, which allowed for the increase in minority ownership of media properties. I am also very pleased that after speaking with several Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Caucus has agreed to a meeting to hear my position on this matter.”

“If you have a good program idea, some financing and access to the Internet, you can find your audience. But your audience can only find you if they have a modem or a set-top box or software that lets them know you are there and gives them access to your programs unconstrained by the network gatekeeper,” he added.

However, a coalition of pay-TV provider called Future of TV Coalition comprising the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, American Cable Association, Motion Picture Association of America and others, which has been formed to oppose the ‘AllVid’ proposal, said the proposed regulation will not provide new programming to customers or lower their television bills.

In a statement, the Future of TV Coalition said, “The FCC proposal, as best anyone can understand it, still strips out all the tools that are used to honour license agreements, would increase consumer costs by mandating yet a second box inside the home and thus ignores the trends away from in-home boxes and devices, eliminates security protections and provides no reassurance on privacy rights.”

TV One CEO Alfred Liggins and Future of TV Coalition co-chair added, “The ‘AllVid’ proposal is a brazen money grab by the Big Tech companies that would do severe damage to the programming ecosystem, and in particular, niche and minority-focused networks.”

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/13/MIB-2-Story.jpg?itok=CHFi2uxm
Supreme Court questions MIB’s digital chatter monitoring proposal

The government proposes, Supreme Court disposes. Well, almost. Not fully yet. Though, the apex court has questioned a Ministry of Information and Broadcasting proposal to monitor digital chatter and online footprint, observing today that if done it would be "like creating a surveillance state".

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/12/rathor.jpg?itok=LerAmHNZ
Comment: Why it’s important for Rathore at MIB to walk the (sports) talk

He may have started the #HumFitToh IndiaFit campaign that went viral on social media last month and had celebs and plebs posting images of their health routine.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/12/ccm.jpg?itok=hpq93_54
CCI reduces penalty on broadcast companies for rigging bids

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday waived the penalty imposed on Globecast and reduced by 30 per cent the penalty imposed on Essel Shyam Communication Ltd (ESCl), rechristened Planetcast, for bid-rigging in tenders for procurement of end-to-end broadcasting services for various...

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/09/TRAI-Story.jpg?itok=FL77A5H2
TRAI: Make STBs, content & telecom services disabled- friendly

With an aim to make communications and TV services more accessible to people with disabilities (PWDs), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has come out with a series of recommendations, including a confusing one suggesting that 50 per cent TV channels to be developed in PWD-friendly and...

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/04/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=eLYU_9Gj
Tata Sky mulls fresh petition against TRAI tariff rollout

MUMBAI: Indian DTH operator Tata Sky is exploring options of filing a fresh petition in Delhi High Court against a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India directive to implement a new tariff regime from 3 July. Industry sources indicated that though Tata Sky withdrew its petition filed in the...

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/04/sb.jpg?itok=yJr8e0p2
VCPL to contest SEBI order on NDTV share acquisition

Following the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s directive to make an open offer for acquiring NDTV shares, Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL) has decided to appeal against the order with the Securities Appellate Tribunal.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/03/trai.jpg?itok=YYt3LA4r
TRAI says b'cast & cable tariff, inter-connect orders come into effect 3 July

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued a statement stating that its tariff order for the broadcasting and cable sector will come into effect from 3 July 2018 as judicial compliances have been complied with.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/02/TRAI-Story.jpg?itok=vJeS8ZHI
TRAI fines Jio, Airtel, others for not meeting service quality norms

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) rapped leading operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular on the knuckles for failing to meet the Quality of Service standards in the December quarter, reported news agency PTI.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/27/Trai_800-.jpg?itok=UXwiqChf
Comment: TRAI uplinks progressive recommendations; now MIB, others need to downlink them

The approximately Rs 1,400 billion Indian broadcasting and cable sectors, reeling under the impact of a slow economy and hemmed in by erratic policy-making, would be breathing a bit easy after TRAI’s recommendations on issues related to uplink and downlink of TV channels and teleports.

Regulators TRAI

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories