The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on ‘Migration of FM Radio Broadcasters from Phase II to Phase III’ and has sought comments from stakeholders on the same. Last date for sending in the comments and views is December 17, 2013. Counter-comments can be submitted by December 24, 2013.
The consultation paper has been prepared to seek the comments/ views of stakeholders on the date of migration from FM Phase II to FM Phase III, duration of permission after migration from Phase II to Phase III and the amount of migration fee to be charged from existing operators on their migration from Phase II to Phase III.
TRAI has also highlighted that in Phase II, the duration of license is 10 years, whereas in Phase III, the duration of license will be 15 years. FM Phase II policy came into existence in the year 2005 and all the operators in Phase I migrated to Phase II on April 1, 2005. The operators who were issued new permission for Phase II made their channels operational between 2006 and 2008, barring a few channels which became operational in 2009. Therefore, Phase II permissions will start expiring from 2015 and all permissions of Phase II will expire by 2019.
TRAI further highlighted that as per the policy guidelines for Phase II, the permission for operating channels will be for 10 years only and cannot be extended.
Earlier, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had sent a reference dated April 9, 2013, to TRAI, seeking the regulator’s recommendations on migration of FM radio broadcasters from Phase II to Phase III. The clarifications sought by TRAI were provided by MIB by November 22, 2013.