Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on restructuring of cable TV services, which will initiate an appropriate regulatory framework to enable the orderly growth of the cable TV sector. TRAI has sought opinion of stakeholders on the issues provided in the paper by April 2, 2008.
The issues include change in the regulatory framework to take care of technological advancement, convergence, etc., for effective regulation of the cable TV industry, transparency in registration process of cable TV operators, adequate monitoring to ensure better cable TV services, provision for an Appellate Authority, mechanism for effective consumer grievances redressal, amendment in the Cable Act/Cable Rules and need for different regulatory frameworks for MSOs and QoS, parameters for non-CAS areas and monitoring mechanism to ensure effective implementation.
There has been rapid development in the Indian cable TV industry in the past two decades, which is largely due to the entrepreneurial skills of cable operators. Cable TV transmission in the country is predominantly analog and limited to provisioning of TV channels only. Due to technological developments, there is a fierce competition to the existing conventional cable TV operators from operators who use advanced distribution technologies like DTH, HITS, IPTV, etc. With the spread of convergence, it was also possible to provide telecom services like broadband and Internet telephony through cable TV networks, stated TRAI.
An appropriate regulatory framework to enable the orderly growth of the sector is the need of the hour. Provisions for registration, information system for monitoring of cable TV industry, customer grievance redressal, and quality of service need immediate attention, the regulatory authority further stated.
There is scope for growth in the cable TV sector in view of new technologies available today. The investment opportunities in the sector have also increased. A supportive regulatory environment would facilitate constructive growth.