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TRAI reviews policy issues related to broadcasting sector, seeks views on improving ease of doing biz

MUMBAI: After telecom, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a pre-consultation paper on the ease of doing business in the TV broadcasting sector in India.

The object of the pre-consultation paper is to take forward the government’s efforts towards ease of doing business.

Through the exercise, TRAI aims to review various policy issues related to the broadcasting sector with a view to creating a conducive and business-friendly environment in the sector.

It also aims to identify the procedural bottlenecks that affect the ease of doing business in the broadcasting sector and to recommend measures for simplifying the rules, regulations and bring more transparency and clarity in policies/framework of the broadcasting sector.

TRAI also wants 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.

The other objectives are to facilitate innovation and technology adoption in the sector for providing better quality of services to the consumers, steer further growth of the sector by attracting investment through investor-friendly policies and promote indigenous manufacturing of broadcasting equipment.

The TRAI proposes to go for a pre-consultation with the stakeholders for identifying issues that are required to be addressed for ease of doing business in the broadcasting sector so that an exhaustive consultation with the stakeholders can be undertaken subsequently.

The authority has sought the comments of stakeholders on the following issues:

(i) Issues related to processes and procedures for obtaining permission/licence/registration for the following broadcasting services and subsequent compliances connected with these permissions.

(a) Uplinking of TV channels
(b) Downlinking of TV channels
(c) Teleport services
(d) Direct-to-home services
(e) Private FM services
(f) Headend-in-the sky services
(g) Local cable operators
(h) Multi-system operators
(i) Community radio stations
(j) Any other related issue

(ii) Allocation of broadcasting spectrum
(a) Clearance from the Department of Space
(b) WPC clearance for broadcasting services
(c) SACFA clearance
(d) Clearance from network operations control centre (NOCC)
(e) Any other related issues

(iii) Other Issues
(a) Disaster recovery site for DTH operators
(b) Transmission of radio services over DTH platform
(c) Right of way for cable operators
(d) Broadband through cable TV
(e) Open sky policy for Ku band
(f) Rationalisation of FDI policy in broadcasting
(g) Developing India as a teleport hub
(h) Skilled manpower in broadcasting sector
(i) Indigenous manufacturing of broadcasting equipment

Stakeholders can also flag other issues which may require policy interventions to facilitate ease of doing business.

In view of the above, the stakeholders are requested to identify such areas of concern and provide complete details of the nature of the problem and scope for improvement which suggest mechanisms that can facilitate business activity in the broadcasting sector.

Stakeholders are required to submit written comments on the pre-consultation paper by 8 May.

While the broadcasting sector so far has been replete with success, TRAI feels that this sector has immense potential to move on a higher trajectory of growth if more conducive business environment could be created by simplifying existing provisions of policy framework related to broadcasting sector.

It has also been noted that certain existing provisions may require a re-look in view of the technological changes that have taken place in the broadcasting sector.

TRAI is of the view that the attractiveness of business proposition is the prime mover and creates the potential for investments, but ease of doing business enables greater realisation of this potential.