MIB seeks views from stakeholders on regulatory framework for platform services

The last date for sending the suggestions or comments is May 23, 2022

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: May 17, 2022 8:10 AM  | 3 min read

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has sought suggestions/feedback/comments/inputs/views from stakeholders on the regulatory framework of Platform Services (PS) offered by multi-system operators (MSOs).

In a public notice, the ministry said it was putting in place an appropriate regulatory framework for the 'Platform Services' offered by MSOs to their subscribers. The regulatory framework will be based on the recommendations provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) dated 19th November 2014 and 2nd February 2021.

The public notice states that any stakeholder desirous of sending their views/comments/suggestions on the Regulatory Framework for Platform Services and TRAI's recommendations may do so through email by May 23, 2022.

The ministry has clarified that views/comments/suggestions sought are only with respect to "Platform Services" offered by MSOs.

PS are programming services that are specific to a distribution platform operator (DPO) and are not obtained from satellite-based broadcasters. These programming services are either produced by the DPO itself or are sourced from certain local content producers.

In its 2014 recommendations, TRAI had suggested that local news and current affairs bulletins on PS can only provide information about local events and other local affairs, sourced locally and not obtained from news agencies or from broadcast news channels/ sources.

Further, the regulator had stated that the DPO must obtain prior permission from the Authorised Officer in this regard and the state governments should not charge any fees for according permission to a PS. Any DPO offering PS must ensure full adherence to the Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.

TRAI had recommended that MIB should establish a simple online registration system for PS. All DPOs shall register their PS channels with the MIB on this system. Further, the system must automatically generate an acknowledgement of the registration of the PS channel. Once registered, the DPO can start providing the PS.

The validity of registration of the PS channels should be co-terminus with the operating licence/registration of the DPO. Further, TRAI had suggested imposing a one-time registration fee of Rs 1,000 per PS channel.

TRAI also recommended that the transferability of registration and interconnection with other networks for sharing PS should not be allowed.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee had accepted most suggestions of TRAI with slight modifications barring recommendation number 8. On certain issues, TRAI came out with fresh recommendations after receiving a back reference from the MIB.

In its fresh recommendations, the TRAI had recommended to the MIB to establish a procedure to review the security clearance of all DPOs who are offering PS, including those cases where there is a change in ownership/control.

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