The Government has formed an inter-ministerial group (IMG) to formulate a policy and regulatory framework on Internet protocol TV (IPTV) to remove ambiguities surrounding the services. The IMG comprises telecom, IT and I&B secretaries, who will meet next week and look into framing regulations for IPTV.
The move has been necessitated by the fact that at present there is no policy and regulatory framework for IPTV. However, some operators have launched the service while others are conducting trial runs.
IPTV is essentially the delivery of television content via the Internet without breaks in transmission. Nearly $4 billion have been invested in IPTV and DTH services so far. In India, IPTV is at a nascent stage and is expected to grow alongside DTH and CAS.
Last year, state-owned MTNL was the first to start IPTV services in Delhi and Mumbai by taking a cable broadcast license in addition to its license for operating telecom services. Following this, TRAI had written to the Government for clarity on IPTV services.
IPTV is one of the major emerging distribution platforms for digital television content and is expected to prove a serious threat to the DTH and CAS platforms due to its ability to provide triple play – voice, data (broadband) and TV. These are not available on CAS or DTH.