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TRAI to come out with recommendations on content aggregators soon

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to come out with its recommendation on the role and responsibilities of content aggregators soon, a top official said.

N-Parameswaran02TRAI principal advisor N Parameswaran said the authority was busy implementing digitisation in Phase I and II cities, which was why it could not finalise recommendations on content aggregation.

“On the aggregator issue, there is a consultation process that we have gone through. The authority will soon come out with its order or recommendations on that,” Parameswaran told CNBC TV18.

So when will the sector regulator come out with its recommendations? “I can’t give a definite time frame as of now because I was focusing more on the digitisation part,” Parameswaran told the business channel.

In August, the regulator had issued a consultation paper on the role of content aggregators in the broadcast ecosystem. The consultation paper proposed to amend the regulatory framework by adding provisions that clearly demarcate the role and responsibilities of content aggregators.

The authority had proposed that the broadcaster—not the aggregator—publish its Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) and enter into Interconnection Agreements with the distribution platform operators.

If a broadcaster appoints an authorised distribution agent, it will have to ensure that the agent does not change the composition of the bouquet formed by the broadcaster while providing it to the distributors of TV channels.

Besides, the authorised distribution agent cannot bundle bouquet or channels of the broadcaster with the bouquet or channels of other broadcasters. In other words, in case the authorised distribution agency represents more than one broadcaster, they will not link offerings of the broadcasters they represent.

Parameswaran was also confident that the Phase III and IV of digitisation would be completed as per schedule. “As per the schedule, Phase III and IV of digitisation must be completed by end of this year and I don’t see any reasons for not getting it completed,” he said.

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