Regulators

TRAI's final recommendations on net neutrality likely by September

NEW DELHI: India’s telecoms and broadcast regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is expected to come out with its final recommendations on net neutrality next month.

TRAI chairman R S Sharma told indiantelevision.com  that after detailed discussions were held in Bengaluru last month on the consultation paper on Net Neutrality (NN) issued mid-2016, a similar round has been fixed for 30 August 2017 in Delhi after which TRAI will begin work on its final recommendations to ensure national security and customer privacy.

However, the issue of NN has different meanings in different parts of the globe and depends on how regulators view the issue in terms of their own markets. For example, the present FCC chairman Ajit Pai is in favour of repealing of a regulatory framework that allowed his predecessor to establish robust rules of the road for the internet and is in the process of dismantling the previous regime’s regulatory framework for NN. In Asia too, NN is defined and regulated differently and there is no uniform approach to the issue.

One of the chief arguments for Net Neutrality, senior tech journalists have argued, is that without rules in place, the internet could well grow into a system of tiers, akin to cable television, in which large content companies would dominate because of their ability to pay for better access to consumers.

Asked whether the tariff order -- which has been in suspended animation for few months now owing to some stakeholders moving Indian courts against its implementation -- will come into effect on 2 September 2017, Sharma refused to commit anything as the matter would be subject to the outcome of court decisions.

Referring to a paper on data protection, he said the present aim was only to start a discussion on the subject. He denied that the consultation paper had anything to do with the controversy around Apple refusing to cooperate on certain demands of the Indian regulator or had been prompted by it. “In fact, the controversy had been kicked off just over a week earlier whereas the paper had been under preparation earlier,” Sharma said.

Elaborating on TRAI’s guiding principles, the chairman said that the organisation issues a paper or initiates a public debate or comes out with recommendations  for “transparency, (to) ensure non-discrimination, consumer protection, industry's growth and encourage positive competition.”

At a time when online piracy and theft of online data is gaining momentum in India, as also criticism of the country’s lack of a comprehensive legislation to protect data, including those mentioned in Adhaar, Sharma said TRAI has taken all the necessary steps to protect consumer data that it collects via its various apps.

Though Sharma refused to be drawn into the online piracy issue (largely that falls under the domain of Commerce Ministry), he did say that inter-operable set top boxes, being tested by some government organisations in collaboration with TRAI, had provisions for dealing with pirated software.

When questioned about the permission granted to Tamil Nadu government owned Arasu to distribute digital TV signals and consequent leanings towards similar set-up in the states of Telangana and Punjab, Sharma said the Authority had thrice given recommendations advising that state governments and political or religious groups should not be permitted to enter the broadcasting sector. “We still stand by those recommendations. But the ministry (MIB) has said the recommendations were under consideration,” he added.  

He agreed that technologies were converging and said that regulations, attitude and outlook will “soon have to move in that direction.”

ALSO READ :

Star & Vijay TV amend plea, TRAI asked by Madras HC to file response

Tata Sky & Airtel DTH pleas against TRAI tariff in Delhi HC on Friday

"There would be  a lot on TRAI's plate in 2017" - RS Sharma

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/19/MIB_2.jpg?itok=tMcbbWzx
MIB gives licences to 5 new channels

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) gave licenses to five new channels up until 31 December 2018. The channels are P Plus, PTunes, Living Travelz, Star Movies Kids and Star Movies Kids HD.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/trai_0.jpg?itok=XY9Xv2aC
TRAI asks Tata Sky to submit status report on tariff order implementation

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked direct-to-home operator Tata Sky to file a comprehensive status report on the implementation of its new tariff regime.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/trai.jpg?itok=5F_RPi2d
Broadcasters to TRAI: No further regulation of OTT communication services

Major broadcasters including Star India, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), Times Network are clear they do not favour any further regulatory intervention on over-the-top (OTT) communication services. All three players have clearly depicted their view that OTTs should not be seen as a substitute...

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/16/mib.jpg?itok=mtjpTiXE
MIB may nod in favour of self-regulation code for online video streamers

An upswing in online streaming platforms in India has drawn attention of authority as well as stakeholders on regulation.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/15/trai.jpg?itok=vFuNrC4V
Tata Sky vs. TRAI: Case, argued partly by DTH operator, adjourned to 23 January

DTH operator Tata Sky’s ongoing court battle with the TRAI and its new tariff regime, in which Bharti Telemedia-owned Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct are a part, has been adjourned by the Delhi High Court to January 23 with arguments being inconclusive.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/15/tele.jpg?itok=Ip-d1akD
MIB restricts eligibility for temporary uplinking for non-news events

In a fresh notice, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has laid out a new norm for temporary uplinking applications for live coverage of non-news and current affairs TV channels. Now, only those channels and teleport operators that are already permitted by the MIB will be eligible to...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/15/prasar.jpg?itok=ImQO_1QL
Prasar Bharati to TRAI: OTTs streaming live TV should mandatorily carry all Doordarshan channels

Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has suggested to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that certain norms be made mandatory for OTT providers, in order to bring them on a level playing field with TV broadcasters and not just limit their comparison to telecom service providers (TSPs).

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/12/traih.jpg?itok=c_pcaj_E
SC upholds licence cancellation of Digi Cable Network, SCOD 18 Networking

Cancellation of licences granted to two MSOs Digi Cable Network and SCOD 18 Networking has been upheld by the Supreme Court on security ground. Before moving to apex court the petitioners had approached the Bombay High Court where their pleas challenging the cancellation order by Ministry of...

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/12/ZEEH_1.jpg?itok=XVHMEazi
Delhi HC orders Zee Hindustan to stop using Rajat Sharma's name in ads

Delhi HC has restrained Zee Hindustan from using the name of India TV editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma in any of its advertisements, stating that its latest ad campaign is prima facie illegal. It has directed the channel to remove any hoardings or ads that use Rajat’s name.

Regulators High Court

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories