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Government appoints TRAI as regulator for broadcast industry

10-January-2004
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Government appoints TRAI as regulator for broadcast industry

In an attempt to wriggle out of the CAS chaos and to exercise damage control in view of the early Loksabha elections, the government issued a crucial notification yesterday to appoint Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) as the regulator for the broadcasting sector.

TRAI has been given mandate to regulate broadcast industry with a view to protect the interests of consumers who have been at the receiving end due to CAS war among different stake holders including broadcasters, MSOs and cable operators.

The goveornment went in for a regulator for broadcasting sector as various unresolved issues among stake holders in broadcasting sector had not only impeded its steady growth but also harmed the interests of consumers. Interestingly the government has so far been dithering on the demand by the consumer bodies and cable operators to appoint a regulator on the ground that Convergence Bill was still pending.

Besides tackling licensing issues, TRAI will regulate the pay channel prices, advertising on pay channels and revenue sharing arrangements in the broadcasting sector. It will also address technical issues like standardisation of set top boxes. The regulator will ensure healthy competition in the broadcasting industry with a new to facilitate its growth.

The appointment of regulator for broadcasting sector assumes significance in view of impending DTH roll out by several players and also to sort out several contentious issues plaguing the successful roll out of CAS.

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