Additional time for comments on regulatory framework for platform services as Delhi OHD ends abruptly

NEW DELHI: An Open House Meeting in New Delhi on issues relating to the regulatory framework for platform services operated by television distribution platform operators ended abruptly when a set of cable TV operators insisted that other problems relating to LCOs should also be discussed.


TRAI chairman Rahul Khullar assured the operators that time would be given after the agenda items were over, but the meet was ended abruptly after 45 minutes when no heed was paid to his plea and because of ‘sustained disturbance’.


Later, local cable operators held a demonstration outside the venue and also filed a police complaint against TRAI officials including Khullar, saying he first invited them but refused to listen to them, and called the police to keep them under control. They also alleged he was only interested in appeasing the broadcasters lobby. 


TRAI later said the meetings for the other three regions - Mumbai on 12 September; Bangalore on 16 September; and Kolkata on 19 September - were constructive wherein not just the issues on the agenda but also other matters relating to development of the cable industry, including digitisation, were discussed.


In view of the abrupt ending and to enable stakeholders to make other recommendations relating to the regulatory framework for platform services operated by TV distribution platform operators, TRAI has decided to permit stakeholders to give any additional comments by 29 September. Platform services include the local channels shown on cable TV.


The meeting in Delhi, organised for the stakeholders in the Northern region, was the last of a series of four open house discussions organised in different parts of India.


The four OHDs were to enable the Authority obtain first hand information regarding the views and opinions on the issues involved from a wide cross-section of the stakeholders.


Representatives of the local cable operators; multi-system operators; broadcasters; DTH operators; HITS operators; content creators; consumer organisations, research institutions etc. came for the OHDs. 


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