The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has sought consultation paper on provisioning of IPTV services. In a statement, the telecom regulator said that currently there was lack of clarity on who could provide IPTV services. TRAI has also proposed draft modification in the existing Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 and sought the opinion of stakeholders.
TRAI felt that in-depth analysis was required to address the issues related to provision of IPTV services, among which was that the technological requirement of IPTV services to deliver content through a set top box (STB) might lead to non-compliance of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, in reference to delivery of free-to-air channels without needing an addressable system.
The other issues were the use of different devices by difference service providers and lack of standardisation for IPTV set top box might violate the Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act, 1995, in reference to use of equipment conforming to Indian Standards; applicability of FDI norms, downlinking guidelines and programme codes on unified access services licensees licensed under the Telegraph Act providing IPTV services.
The telecom regulator has come out with certain observations that both telecom service providers having license to provide triple play services under the Telegraph Act and cable TV operators registered under the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 could provide IPTV service without requiring any further license or registration.
The content will be regulated under the up-linking/down-linking guidelines issued by the I&B Ministry. There should be no bar on broadcasters/content providers to provide their content to IPTV service providers as well. Any breach of the provisions of Act/ license/ registration/ permission by telecom service provider/ cable operator/ broadcaster shall be dealt with by designated agencies, which are responsible for administering such Acts/ license/ registration/ permission.