MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday released a consultation paper to identify procedural bottlenecks that affect the ease of doing business in the broadcasting sector and to recommend measures for simplifying the rules, regulations and policies in the sector.
TRAI noted that a business-friendly environment is a prerequisite for the growth of the broadcasting sector, which has seen an increasing number of distribution platforms including cable TV networks, direct-to-home (DTH) service providers, headend-in-the-sky (HITS) operators, and IPTV players.
India currently has six private DTH operators, two HITS operators, 900 multi-system operators (MSOs), a few IPTV operators and 60,000 cable TV operators. State-owned Doordarshan also operates a subscription-free DTH platform, DD FreeDish.
“While the broadcasting sector so far has been replete with success, increasing digitisation, higher internet usage and the huge business growth, the authority is of the view that these opportunities coupled with improvement in ease of doing business may catapult the sector into a faster growth trajectory,” TRAI said.
The authority has therefore, suo motu, decided to go for a consultation with the stakeholders on ease of doing business in the broadcasting sector. As a first step in this direction, a pre-consultation paper was issued on 19 April 2016 with a view to getting the views of stakeholders to identify relevant issues which may be required to be addressed.
The present consultation paper is being issued consequent to the analysis of stakeholders’ responses to the pre-consultation paper, with the following objectives:
(i) To review various policy issues related to the broadcasting
sector with a view to creating a conducive and business friendly environment in the sector.
(ii) To identify procedural bottlenecks that affect ease of doing business in broadcasting sector and recommended measures for simplifying the rules, regulations and bring more transparency and clarity in policies/framework of the broadcasting sector.
(iii) To remove entry barriers by laying down well-defined and transparent procedures and processes, thereby creating level playing field and competition in the sector
(iv) To facilitate innovation and technology adoption in the sector for providing better quality of services to the consumers.
(v) To steer further growth of the sector by attracting investment
through investor friendly policies
(vi) To promote indigenous manufacturing of broadcasting equipment.
Summary of issues for consultation
Q1. Is there a need for simplification of policy framework to boost growth of satellite TV industry? If yes, what changes do you suggest in present policy framework relating to satellite TV channels and why?
Q2. Is there a need in present policy framework relating to seeking permission for making changes in the name, logo, language, format, etc. related to an operational satellite TV channel? If so, what changes do you suggest and why?
Q3. Do you agree with some of the stakeholders comment at preconsultation stage that Annual Renewal process of TV channels needs simplification?
Q4. Do you agree with stakeholders’ comments that coordination with multiple agencies/ Government departments related to starting and operating of a TV channel can be simplified? If so, what should be the mechanism and framework for such single window system?
Q5. Is present framework of seeking permission for temporary uplinking of live coverage of events of national importance including sports events is complicated and restrictive? If yes, what changes do you suggest and why?
Q6. Do you feel the need to simplify policy framework for seeking permission/license for starting and running of following services– (iii) Teleport services (iv) DTH service 42 If yes, what changes do you suggest so that process of grant of permission/license can be simplified and expedited?
Q7. As per your understanding, why open sky policy for Ku band has not been adopted when it is permitted for ‘C’ band? What changes do you suggest to simplify hiring of Ku band transponders for provision of DTH/HITS services?
Q8. What are the operational issues and bottlenecks in the current policy framework related to – (iii) Teleport services (iv) DTH service How these issues can be simplified and expedited?
Q9. What are the specific issues affecting ease of doing business in cable TV sector? What modifications are required to be made in the extant framework to address these issues?
Q10. Is there a need to increase validity of LCO registration from one year? In your view, what should be the validity of LCO registration?
Q11. What are the issues in the extant policy guidelines that are affecting the ease of doing business in FM sector? What changes and modifications are required to address these issues?
Q12. Is there a need to streamline the process of assignment of frequency by WPC and clearances from NOCC to enhance ease of doing business? What changes do you suggest and why?
Q13. What are the reasons for delay for allocation of frequencies by WPC? What changes do you suggest to streamline the process?
Q14. What are the key issues affecting the indigenous manufacturing of various broadcasting equipments and systems. How these issues can be addressed?
Q15. Are there any issues in conducting trial projects to assess suitability of a new technology in broadcasting sector?
Q16. What should the policy framework and process for consideration and approval of such trial projects?
Written comments on the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by 28 August. Counter comments, if any, may be submitted by 11 September.