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TRAI extends date for submission of comment on ease of doing biz in broadcasting sector

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the last date for submission of comments and counter-comments on the ‘Ease of doing business in the broadcasting sector’ consultation paper to 11 and 18 September, respectively, following requests by industry stakeholders.

The earlier dates for submission of comments and counter-comments were 28 August and 11 September respectively.

The regulator had released the 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 had 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 had said.

TRAI had issued a pre-consultation paper on 19 April 2016 in order to get the views of stakeholders to identify relevant issues that 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 the ease of doing business in the 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 a 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.