Opening DTT to private sector; discussion planned

NEW DELHI: An open house discussion will be held on 19 October 2016 on a Consultation Paper on "Opening Up Digital Terrestrial Transmission." The OHD will be held in the PHD Chamber near Sirifort Auditorium at 10.00 am.

The Paper by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India was issued on 24 June 2016, about a year after Prasar Bharati – which is the only terrestrial broadcaster in the country – unanimously recommended that DTT should be opened up to the private channels. Apart from Prasar Bharati, several private channels have already responded to the paper, which was followed by a linked paper on sharing infrastructure issued on 21 September 2016.

In its response to the DTT paper, the pubcaster said even as it supports the move, it feels that the potential of available distribution options need to be critically analysed to fulfill their requirements (for example coverage, capacity, reception mode, and type of service etc).

The public broadcaster has also said that the terrestrial broadcast platform will be relevant in the long term if its usage offers veritable benefits to the broadcasters, the audiences and the society as a whole. Even in countries where cable, satellite or broadband hold a significant market share, terrestrial broadcasting is usually regarded as an essential, flexible and reliable way of delivering broadcast content to a mass audience.

In its response to 11 questions asked by TRAI in its Consultation Paper on 'Issues related to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in India,' the pubcaster says that the terrestrial platform must be digital to remain viable in the long term.

Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar, who had told in an interview earlier that it had cleared DTT for the private sector more than a year ago, said at the recent Indian Digital Operators Summit (IDOS) that it was willing to give its infrastructure to the private TV and radio channels.

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