Regulators

TRAI to give its views on net neutrality soon, govt confident of achieving total digitization by year-end

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/regulators-images/2016/03/23/Trai.jpg?itok=YMVDBSpG

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is expected to come out with its final views on net neutrality in ?a couple of months?, its chairman R S Sharma said today. He said that the Department of Telecom had sought a comprehensive view on net neutrality.

Speaking at the CASBAA India Forum 2016, he said TRAI had a month earlier ruled against Facebook?s Free Basics programme, upholding net neutrality and leaving a level playing field for all players. ?No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content,? the TRAI said in the order on discriminatory pricing of data content.

?No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content,? the order said. The matter came to a head when Airtel decided to charge separately for Internet-based calls, but withdrew its plan later after facing public protests.

He admitted that the regulations had not addressed various other concerns related to net neutrality in India but said TRAI had issued a consultation paper on the subject and also received various responses from both broadcasters and telecom service providers.

Sharma acknowledged the challenges and opportunities as the country witnesses the fourth phase of Digital Addressable System (DAS). He said, ?TRAI is not here to promote legacy systems in cable TV where a structural monopoly exists. With the objective of providing the right of choice to the consumers, we will allow the march of technology. At the same time, for healthy growth of the sector, it is crucial to strike the right balance between all the stakeholders through a constructive dialogue.?

Taking lessons from the evolution of the telecom industry, Sharma urged the stakeholders in broadcasting to actively collaborate on issues like ?infrastructure sharing? and ?set-top boxes?. ?Today five or six telcos are willing to share one mobile tower showing how sharing and competition can go hand in hand. This can materialise in the broadcasting space as well. While TRAI has no plans to make infrastructure sharing mandatory, it may tweak the existing licensing system to provide support to the stakeholders who are interested in the idea,? he added.

The issue of interoperability of the set-top box was discussed at length and TRAI?s S K Gupta stressed on the importance of pushing the use of a common set-top box by different operators. He pointed out that cost of procuring and maintaining set-top boxes weighs heavily on the balance sheets of MSOs, LCOs and digital TV companies. He also said that interconnected agreements between LCOs and MSOs can give two-way cable networks to the end users.

Information and Broadcasting Ministry Joint Secretary (Broadcasting) R Jaya said ?Phase IV of cable TV digitization is one of the most prominent routes to broadband connectivity which is key for providing services to citizens. It is high time for the industry to understand the value of interconnect agreements.?  She also reassured that MIB will complete its cable TV digitization drive by the end of 2016.

At a later session, TRAI principal adviser U K Srivastava said that the regulations were being prepared on the basis of the responses received. Addressing a session on whether OTT can make a dent in India, he said OTT was now driving telecom service providers. Regulations were therefore needed to prevent manipulation or misuse. He did not rule out the possibility of another consultation paper in view of changes in technology. Essentially, he said the process had to be open and inclusive.

Answering a question, Srivastava said it was too early to talk about carriage fee etc., but the regulator would want to ensure that the consumer pays for the services he receives.   

The forum examined the ripple effect of the country?s digitization initiative, bringing together all the stakeholders including multi-system operators (MSO), local cable operators (LCO), DTH players, satellite technology providers, and regulators, among others was Digital India: The Four Phases of Cable Enlightenment.

CASBAA?S CEO Christopher Slaughter set the tone by establishing the relation between the digitization of the cable TV system in India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi?s Digital India campaign.

Later Ministry Director (B and C) Neeti Sarkar said the ministry has minimal intervention on the content side of the broadcasting industry. ?We have made our procedures smoother by allowing single window clearance at the time of launching a new channel. Having said that, there has always been room for dialogue with all stakeholders,? she said.

TRAI advisor Sunil Kumar Singhal said that it is time to bring consumer at the centre stage and then create regulations. He said, ?There is a trust deficit among stakeholders. In the last few years, significant investments have been made in the digitization drive. Now it is time for us to monetize these capabilities.?

Ministry special secretary J S Mathur talked about the recent developments in the media and broadcasting industry. ?At the Ministry, the pace of permissions has scaled up. In the first three phases of digitization, we covered 70 million (7 crore) households. We also realize the need for a broadcasting policy and are willing to have more related conversations with all stakeholders,? he said.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/09/19/sc.jpg?itok=-d4fsH80
TRAI vs. Star India case: next SC hearing on September 25

The Supreme Court has deferred the hearing of Star India’s petition against TRAI tariff and inter-connect order to 25 September 2018.

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/09/13/Madras-HC02-Story.jpg?itok=e_lfwNMV
Trai vs. Star case: next SC hearing on Sept. 18

The Supreme Court has deferred the hearing of Star India’s petition against TRAI tariff and inter-connect order to 18 September 2018

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/09/13/CVR_Health.jpg?itok=2RFG9MlX
MIB orders CVR Health to go off air for code violation

A health channel named CVR Health had telecast a show named ‘healthy nights’ in 2016 that was considered unsuitable for the television audience for which it was asked to go off air for three days with effect from 8-11 September 2018.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/09/12/sc.jpg?itok=IgJUhuu8
SC adjourns Star India's petition on TRAI tariff order to 13 September

The Supreme Court has deferred the hearing of Star India’s petition against TRAI tariff and inter-connect order to 13 September 2018.

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/09/11/Madras-HC02-Story.jpg?itok=ijdHmof2
SC adjourns Star India's petition on TRAI tariff order to 12 September

The Supreme Court has deferred the hearing of Star India’s petition against TRAI tariff and inter-connect order to 12 September 2018.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/09/05/Madras-HC02-Story.jpg?itok=40N5lbZO
SC adjourns Star India's petition on TRAI tariff order to 11 September

The Supreme Court has deferred the hearing of Star India’s petition against TRAI tariff and inter-connect order to 11 September 2018.

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/08/28/sc.jpg?itok=kCRVwkCU
SC defers hearing of Star India petition on TRAI tariff order to 5 September

The Supreme Court has deferred the hearing of Star India’s petition filed against TRAI tariff and inter-connect order to 5 September, 2018.

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/08/13/vi.jpg?itok=LJJ0mOpc
Parliamentary IT report cites high charge by Antrix as hurdle to satellite connectivity

Despite the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) citing high cost of satellite-delivered bandwidth to reach remote areas for providing broadband services, parliament’s committee on IT has observed that prohibitive cost should not come in the way of availing of the services as adequate funds are...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/08/11/cinema-hall.jpg?itok=omMZ5AyB
SC stays J&K HC order to not prohibit outside food in theatre

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court has stayed a direction issued by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to the multiplexes/cinema hall owners of the state not to prohibit cinema goers/viewers from carrying their own food articles and water inside the theatre, as per a report by the Indian Express.

Regulators Supreme Court

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories