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TRAI proposes amendments in Cable TV Act to facilitate launch of IPTV in India

07-June-2006
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TRAI proposes amendments in Cable TV Act to facilitate launch of IPTV in India

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed necessary amendments in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act and the existing telecom licenses in order to facilitate the growth of IPTV services in the country.

TRAI observed that the Cable TV Act in its present form did not sufficiently address several issues relating to IPTV because when the Act was prepared in 1995, IPTV service had not even been conceived.

Issues like technological requirement of IPTV to deliver content through a set top box leads to non-compliance with the requirement of the Cable Act, 1995 about Free-To-Air channels not needing an addressable system.

Use of different protocols by different companies and lack of standardisation for IPTV services also violates the requirement of the Act about use of equipment conforming to Indian standards.

To solve these problems, TRAI has recommended keeping IPTV service outside the definition of ‘cable services.’ “IPTV service providers would not be covered in the definition of ‘cable operator’ and the Unified Access Service network used for provision of IPTV services will not get covered by the definition of ‘cable television network,” the regulator said.

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) describes a system where a digital television service is delivered to subscribing consumers using the Internet protocol over a broadband connection. This service is typically supplied by a broadband operator using the same infrastructure. Many telecom service providers in India, including Reliance, are in talks with television channels to roll out IPTV services in the country by the end of this year.

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