Regulators

TRAI: Make STBs, content & telecom services disabled- friendly

Stakeholders term confusing suggestion on 50% TV channels in accessible format

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/09/TRAI-Story.jpg?itok=RdswyC05

MUMBAI: 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 accessible format over the next five years.

In its recommendations, the TRAI suggests that manufacturers maintain accessibility standards for set top boxes (STBs), mobile phones and landlines. Box makers have till 2020 to make or import at least one model in different variants in an accessible format.

Telecom service providers (TSPs), MSOs and DTH operators have been exhorted to have special desks in their call centres/customer support to assist PWDs using assistive technologies. The call centre executives must also undergo sensitivity training to deal with their issues.

Broadcasters, too, could well have to invest in content modification. According to TRAI, “The Authority is of the view that there should be phase-wise, time bound plans to develop percentage[s] of channels with the aim to have 50 per cent channels in accessible format in five years’ time frame. To start with, there can be five per cent [of TV] channels in accessible format in one year, 10 per cent in two years and 50 per cent in five years.”

When Indiantelevision.com got in touch with some TV channels on the issue, most of them said this particular TRAI suggestion on percentages of the TV channels in accessible format was not clear.

“Does TRAI mean that half of all the government-permitted TV channels would have to have closed captioning of content for PWDs, for example? Or, does it mean that a percentage of the content in a TV channel would have to be in a prescribed format? Or, does it mean that newer accessible channels or separate feeds would have to be started? As it’s difficult to have closed captioned content for news channels, for example, no matter how much a TV channel may like to be PWD-friendly, this suggestion would need further clarifications as it would mean increasing costs on making content,” a TV channel executive opined, adding, though TRAI’s intentions were laudable, an industry reeling under a slow economy would need financial incentives from the government to implement such a suggestion.

Meanwhile, continuing with TRAI recommendations, the regulator has suggested that Department of Telecom (DoT) and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) instruct TSPs DTH operators and MSOs to conduct awareness campaigns regarding accessibility issues, design, affordability, availability of assistive tools and products, and about various government policies and schemes pertaining to accessible ICT (information, communications and telecoms) services that can be availed by PWDs.

The government has been exhorted to take several major steps. The most important one is that all government websites need to be PWD-accessibility compliant. ICT products (computer hardware, mobile phones, STBs, etc.) procured by government agencies should be accessible to PWDs and should have associated support documentation and services inaccessible format.

The government has been suggested to mandate the device manufacturers/importers not to curtail the accessibility features available in popular operating systems in any manner from their devices whether manufactured locally or imported.

Suggestions by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) such as products and tariff plan specific to PWDs, appropriate customer care service, adding closed captioning, audio description, etc. should be taken up in India as well, TRAI has observed.

As mobile phones have become an integrated part of modern lifestyle, accessible handset for PWD citizens is also a necessity. According to TRAI, mobile handset manufacturers, who produce five or more than five different models, should produce at least one mobile handset satisfying accessibility criteria for PWDs at least by the end of 2020.

The regulatory body has recommended a steering committee, comprising various government agencies and ministries, for a timely review of accessibility of ICT services to PWDs. The committee will look into other areas, including fund requirements and collaboration with state governments, the regulator has suggested.

However, there’s a catch to this set of recommendations. As the issue was taken up suo-moto by TRAI, it needs to be seen whether MIB and DoT, for example, accept these recommendations of the regulator in any format at all as the two government organisations themselves are part of another panel looking into issues relating to PWDs vis-à-vis ICT services.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/07/17/td.jpg?itok=w27iNd5J
Siti withdraws petition against SPN from TDSAT

Siti Network Ltd has withdrawn its two-year-old petition against Sony Pictures Networks Distribution India Pvt Ltd and ORS from the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), stating that the parties have settled their differences.

Regulators TDSAT
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/07/17/mix.jpg?itok=pqRHc4pa
Dish TV vs Prasar Bharati: DD Free Dish cannot use word 'Dish', says Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted an injunction to direct-to-home (DTH) operator Dish TV (plaintiff) against Prasar Bharati (defendant), preventing the public broadcaster from using the word 'Dish' for its free-to-air DTH platform DD Free Dish. The defendant was handed three months’ time to...

Regulators High Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/07/16/TDSAT1.jpg?itok=JdBsrj8r
TDSAT gives Kamyab TV 2 weeks to submit payment schedule to govt

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has granted further two weeks’ time to Kamyab Television Pvt Ltd for submitting a time schedule for payment of the admitted dues to Union of India and Antrix TV.

Regulators TDSAT
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/07/15/prakash-javadekar.jpg?itok=j-FUUnP0
No complaints of DTH companies defying new tariff order received by TRAI: MIB

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has not received any complaints against direct-to-home (DTH) companies not sticking to its new tariff order, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry told the Lok Sabha last week.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/07/12/tdsat.jpg?itok=Vr7B8W8j
Dish TV withdraws petition against SPN from TDSAT

MUMBAI: The ongoing tussle between Dish TV India Ltd and Sony Pictures Network India, in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), has settled with the former withdrawing its petition filed last year against certain clauses in terms and conditions of pre-NTO RIO as published...

Regulators TDSAT
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/07/11/trai.jpg?itok=SQw7TZ-i
Tata Sky's final arguments in TRAI tariff order matter listed for 19 July by Delhi HC

MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing of the petition of top DTH operators Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct, and broadcaster Discovery India Communication challenging Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and its new tariff regime to 19 July. according to...

Regulators High Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/07/06/TRAI_800New.jpg?itok=VdGUaXW5
Delhi HC sends notice to TRAI over money collection through tariff amendment orders

The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) asking it to explain how broadcasters collected crores of rupees from consumers on the basis of the 11th and 13th TRAI tariff amendment orders, as per a report by news agency ANI.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/07/05/mib.jpg?itok=nF6UnNBH
MIB permits name change of 21 satellite channels

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has approved a total of 21 applications from satellite channels for name change.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/07/04/independent-tv.jpg?itok=UThS-0Rl
TDSAT directs Independent TV to provide Rs 12 cr as bank guarantee to restore signals from Antrix

In a further development to the Independent TV v/s Antrix Corporation Ltd case, the former has been asked by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to either pay Rs 5.83 crore along with a bank guarantee of Rs 6 crore or furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 12 crore to the latter...

Regulators TDSAT

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories