TRAI proposes common interconnection framework for broadcasters

New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Aiming to make broadcasting industry a more level playing field, India’s telecom regulator on Friday proposed a common interconnection framework for all addressable systems.

“The interconnection regulations ought to evolve to keep pace with new developments in the sector, while sustaining the fundamental underlying principles of non-discrimination and level playing field.

“Keeping this in view, the Authority considered it fit to review the regulatory framework, for all type of addressable systems in a complete and holistic manner,” said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in a consultation paper it issued.

Written comments have been invited, by October 28, on The Draft Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2016.

In the paper, TRAI has suggested a common interconnection framework for all addressable systems like Direct to Home (DTH), Head-end In the Sky (HITS), Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems (DAS) and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).

“The Authority is of the view that any kind of exclusivity in distribution of TV channel is pre-judicial for competition and hence is not permitted.

“No carriage fee is to be paid by a broadcaster if the subscription of the channel is more than or equal to 20 per cent of the subscriber base. The rate of carriage fee has been capped at 20 paisa per channel per subscriber per month. Further, the carriage fee amount will decrease with increase in subscription,” it said in the paper.

“The distributors of TV channels may offer discounts on the carriage fee rate declared by them not exceeding 35 per cent of the rate of the carriage fee declared,” it added.

“Broadcaster to offer to a distributor, a minimum of 20 per cent of the maximum retail price of its pay channel(s) or bouquet(s) of pay channels as distribution fee. They may also offer discounts on the maximum retail price provided that the sum of discounts and distribution fee in no case shall exceed 35 per cent of the maximum retail price, so declared,” it suggested.



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