TRAI releases consultation paper on issues related to Interconnection Regulation 2017

TRAI has asked for written comments on the consultation paper from stakeholders by October 23

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 25, 2019 3:50 PM

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released the consultation paper on 'Issues related to Interconnection Regulation 2017'.

TRAI has received representations from quite a few regional broadcasters wherein they have highlighted their concerns regarding the declaration of the target market by Distributors of television channels (DPOs).

As per the paper, the existing regulations provide freedom to the DPOs to declare their target market for the purpose of ascertaining the carriage fee. Some of the distribution platform operators have declared multiple states (or entire country in some cases) as their target market.

It further says in such cases these regional broadcasters are required to pay very high carriage fee. Not only does this put undesired financial burden on regional broadcasters, it makes them prone to undue arm twisting by the distributors, as their subscription continues to remain lower than the minimum prescribed threshold of 5 per cent, which is the limit under which a DPO is not mandated to carry any channel.

The paper further highlights that the placement agreement, marketing agreements or any other technical or commercial arrangements between broadcasters and Distributors (apart from RIO based agreements) are in forbearance. But now, quite a few complaints have been received from various broadcasters whereby it is being alleged that some DPOs are resorting to pushing for marketing/placement/promotion agreement, by exploiting the available forbearance.

In summary, the objective of this consultation process is to review the provisions of the existing Interconnection Regulation 2017 and consult all the stakeholders on the following issues - issues related to Target Market and those related to Placement and other agreements between broadcasters and distributors.

TRAI has asked for written comments on the consultation paper from the stakeholders by October 23. Counter comments, if any, may be submitted by November 6.

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