Wednesday, 21 January 2009

REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR BROADCASTING IN INDIA

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting 
 Policy, Licensing of broadcasting sector, Content regulations, spectrum allocation.

 TRAI 
 Regulator for tariff, interconnection, quality o f service.
 TDSAT
 Dispute settlement (original jurisdiction).
 Appeals.
 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
 Created by an Act of Parliament, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997.
 Broadcasting sector came under purview of TRAI in 2004.
 Carriage regulation is done by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Content regulation is still done by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India.

The Boradcasting Sector in India
 Total Cable &Satellite Households-82 Million Registered Private Satellite TV channels – 400.
 Number of Multi System Operators ~6000 Number of Cable Operators ~60,000.
 2 HITS permission holders.
 Conditional Access System for cable services mandated in 4 cities – around 0.7 m. STBs deployed.
 Terrestrial Television Broadcasting by Doordarshan through its 1500 transmitters and 66 Studio centres across the country serving 40 Million Households.
 5 Private DTH Operators operational apart from Doordarshan-7 m pay TV HH.
 236 private FM radio stations apart from All India Radio
 35 community Radio Licencees.
 One Satellite radio Operator.

Major Laws and Regulators
 Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 as amended.
 Cable Television Networks Rule 1994 as amended.
 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 as amended.
 Prasar Bharti (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act 1990 as amended.
 Sports Broadcasting Signal (mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007.
 Policy Guidelines for uplinking from India.
 Policy Guidelines for downlinking of Television Channels.
 Guidelines for obtaining DTH license ..and so on 
 The Telegraph Act 1885.
 The Copright Act 1957.

Quality of Service for Cable Services in non-CAS Areas
 Issuance of monthly bill and proper receipt.
 Bill should contain number of FTA and Pay channels.
 Provide information regarding change of channels in cable service to the customers.
 Taking the channel off air–notice is must by an advertisement in 2 local newspapers, and also may inform by running a scroll in the relevant channel.

Regulation on Quality of Service for CAS areas
 Connection-within two working days of the completion of the formalities.
 Disconnection - written notice of at least 15 days.
 Shifting - five working days from the date of request
 Complaints.
 At least 90% of "No Signal" calls received shall be corrected within 24 hours.
 At least 90% of all other types of complaints shall be corrected within 48 hours.
 Billing related complaints - To be addressed within 7 days of notice.
 STB related complaints - repair or replacement, within 24 hours of receipt of the complaint.
 Change in positioning of channels - 3 days advance notice to subscribers.
 Public Awareness Campaign - MSOs were required to carry out a public awareness campaign about the salient features of the provisions contained in the QoS regulation for CAS areas. 
 Taking the channel off air – 3 weeks notice is must either by an advertisement in 2 local newspapers, or by running a scroll in the relevant channel.

Quality of Service Regulations for DTH Services
Connection, disconnection, transfer and shifting of cable services
 The DTH operator will devise the format for application form, and will assign a customer I.D. No. to each such application received. 
 Provide connection to every person subject to technical and operational feasibility application received.
 A time limit of 5 working days has been prescribed for complying with requests relating to shifting, disconnection and reconnection.

Complaint handling and redressal
 Establish Call centre with toll-free number
 Complain to be assigned a docket number by call centre
 90% call of no signal within 24 Hrs, other complaints within 48 Hrs, no complaint remain beyond 5 days.
 All billing complaints to be resolved within 7 days.
 Nodal office to be appointed for each state for redressal of grievances of those subscribers who are not satisfied with the at call centre level, grievances within 10 days of registering of the complaint. 
  
Plans and Billing related
 The subscription package offered to a subscriber will not be changed for 6 months. However, the subscriber can opt out of a particular package for any other package at any time.
 Post paid subscribers, if any, will be issued bills containing details such as charges for subscription package, value added services, customer premises equipments, taxes etc.
 Provision of itemized usage charges to pre-paid subscribers on demand on a reasonable cost.

customer premises equipments (CPEs) related
 schemes to offer CPEs to its subscribers on outright purchase basis, hire-purchase basis and rental basis. Scheme for refund in case of hire-purchase.
 set top box (STB) not to be disabled if the subscriber has opted out of his service, and there are no dues.
 Taking the channel off air
 DTH operator give notice for discontinuing a channel.

Interconnection
 Broadcasters “must provide” content on non-discriminatory terms.
 Broadcasters to provide all channels on a-la-carte basis to cable and DTH platforms.
 Limits prescribed for relationship between
 a-la-carte and bouquet prices by broadcasters.
 Broadcasters directed to provide channels to DTH through RIO at reasonable rates.
 Steps taken by TRAI on the digitalization
 Facilitated successful roll out of addressable digital cable services (CAS) in the notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata by laying down appropriate regulatory framework.
 An expert group was formed by TRAI on digitalization and introduction of voluntary CAS for extension of CAS to 55 more cities in a well defined time frame. The report of the group was forwarded to the Government for further action.
 Recommended opening up of Terrestrial TV transmission for Private Sector and to allow both analogue and digital transmission.
 Recommended a national plan for digitalization of cable television, by March 2010, on a voluntary basis. 
 Recommendations of cable TV sector, which mandates compulsory digitalization within five years.

Source: http://cablequest.org/articles/regulations/item/1364-regulatory-framework-for-broadcasting-in-india.html
Source: http://cablequest.org/articles/regulations/item/1364-regulatory-framework-for-broadcasting-in-india.html

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