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IPTV likely to get government approval today

IPTV likely to get government approval today

Author | Source: Business Standard | Thursday, Aug 21,2008 8:26 AM

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IPTV likely to get government approval today

Decks have been cleared for the roll out of Internet Protocol TV or IPTV as the Union Cabinet is likely to consider and give its nod to the policy on Thursday. The IPTV policy has been pending approval for some time.

This will clear the way for the commercial launch of IPTV, the licence for which are already there with several telecom players like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications among others. Also, even broadcasters and large cable players will be able to obtain licences for IPTV services.

IPTV means delivery of television channels using high-speed internet connections and dedicated servers.

IPTV allows the consumers to not only watch the regular television channels but empowers them with a number of value added services like interactive games, television content on demand, time-shift TV, interactive advertising among others.

Broadcast regulator Trai had submitted its final recommendations several months ago to the I&B ministry and it has been awaiting a nod from the Union Cabinet because of several reasons including a higher foreign investments limit recommended for IPTV (74 per cent) as opposed to the existing 49 per cent for the cable sector, industry experts said.

FAST FORWARD

• IPTV means delivery of television channels using high-speed internet connections and dedicated servers

• It empowers subscribers with a number of value added services

• Govt’s nod will clear the way for the commercial launch of IPTV in the country

• Telecom players like Bharti Airtel, RCom are seeking licence for IPTV

The government is also expected modify the current downlinking guidelines to include sharing of television channels with the new platforms like IPTV and Headend-in-the-Sky (HITS). This will mean that the the IPTV operators can demand content from the broadcasters.

Currently, the broadcasters can share their channels only with the cable and the DTH platforms. But with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting accepting the recommendations of broadcast regulator Trai on IPTV and HITS, it was neccessary to modify the existing downlinking norms.

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