Wednesday, 29 October 2014

TRAI is in the Dock

Phase III and IV of digtisation have been postponed till December 2015 and December 2016, respectively. This is the major step taken by the new government for correcting the wrong of last UPA government, mandating Digitalisation of Cable TV Industry in whole of India, to be completed within 2 years, a task many developed countries have not done even in 10 years. 
Broadcasters are also very disappointed with
The government has found that benefits of digitisation have not even started trickling down to the consumers. Two years have gone past and two phases are already over. The industry is bogged down with court cases in every state and TDSAT. This has further widened trust gap between stakeholders, one of the main reason of failure of DAS. 
TRAI has proposed to impose financial disincentives on MSOs and LCOs who violate certain Quality of Service Regulations concerning bills to consumers and payment collection. TRAI still feels that everything can be achieved on paper and nothing needs to be done to improve the ground situation except wield a stick. It is highly doubtful if imposing fines will ever improve the situation when there are unresolved basic issues. This was evident during the TRAI open house discussions on Platform Services and Financial Disincentives when TRAI officials faced the anguish of LCOs. 
The industry is getting into a very bad shape by implementing the mandatory digitisation in a very shoddy and ill planned manner. For example, large MSOs working at the level of a whole state or the nation, operating for many years are finding their licenses/ registration getting cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs for security reasons. This is putting the fate of hundreds of LCOs and millions of subscribers in doldrums. Government must do something about it immediately. 
TRAI Regulations regarding pricing of channels and interconnect agreements have also been questioned by TDSAT in a recent judgment. Hope TRAI decids to review them soon.
With IBC in Amsterdam, the season of industry events has begun and hope industry professional make best of them to learn about the latest technologies and for networking globally. 

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