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TRAI seeks ideas on ease of doing b’cast business

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NEW DELHI: With the fast changing regulatory framework for the media and entertainment sector, which in India is one of the fastest growing sectors, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has embarked on a major exercise to find out easier ways of doing business and cause least harassment to entrepreneurs. In short, try to examine where all procedural delays can be shaved off and what all could be made redundant.

It has now issued a pre-consultation paper on the ease of doing business in broadcasting, which comes just a few months after a similar paper on telecoms. In the new era of convergence, the two sectors are expected to complement each other.

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TRAI, which has raised questions about all sectors in the electronic media, has asked stakeholders to respond with their comments by 8 May 2017.

The Authority has on its own decided to go for a pre-consultation with the stakeholders on ease of doing business in the broadcasting sector, taking a cue from PM Modi-led government’s efforts to ease doing businesses in India. It hopes to review various policy issues related to the broadcasting sector with a view to create a conducive and business friendly environment in the sector and identify procedural bottlenecks that affect ease of doing business in the broadcasting sector and recommend measures for simplifying the rules, regulations and bring more transparency and clarity in policies/ framework of the broadcasting sector. 

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The aim is also to remove entry barriers by laying down well defined and transparent procedures and processes thereby creating level playing field and competition in the sector and to facilitate innovation and technology adoption for providing better quality of services to the consumers to steer further growth of the sector by attracting investment through investor friendly policies 

Subjects to be covered in the pre-consultation before a final consultation paper is issued are related to processes and procedures for obtaining permission/license/registration for the following broadcasting services and subsequent compliance connected with these permissions. The fields include:

(a) Uplinking of TV channels 

(b) Downlinking of TV channels 

(c) Teleport services 

(d) Direct-to-home services 

(e) Private FM services 

(f) Headend-in-the sky services 

(g) Local Cable Operators 

(h) Multi System Operators 

(i) Community Radio Stations 

The consultation will include allocation of broadcasting spectrum; clearance from Department of Space; WPC clearance for broadcasting services; SACFA Clearance Process; and Clearance from Network Operations Control Center (NOCC).

For DTH, the issues include disaster Recovery Site for DTH Operator; and transmission of radio services over DTH platform.

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Other issues are Right of Way for cable operators; Broadband through cable TV; Open sky policy for KU band; Rationalization of FDI policy in broadcasting sector, developing India as a teleport hub, Skilled manpower in broadcasting sector, and Indigenous manufacturing of broadcasting equipment.

While the broadcasting sector so far has been replete with success, the Authority feels that this sector has immense potential to move on higher trajectory of growth if more conducive business environment could be created by simplifying existing provisions of policy framework related to broadcasting sector. It has also been noted that certain existing provisions may require a re-look in view of the technological changes that have taken place in the broadcasting sector.

The Authority is of the view that the attractiveness of business proposition  is the prime mover and creates the potential for investments, but ease of doing business enables greater realization of this potential. Therefore, taking a cue from the Government’s efforts towards ease of doing business

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