TRAI issues Recommendations for ease of doing business in the broadcasting sector

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released on February 26, 2018 its recommendations on ‘Ease of doing business in broadcasting sector’ [Read here].

The recommendations are aimed towards facilitating ease of doing business in the broadcasting sector and towards that to remove redundant processes.

Some of the key recommendations are:

  • The process of granting of permission/ license/ registration for broadcasting services should be streamlined by removing redundant processes, re-engineering necessary processes, and making them efficient using ICT (Information and Communication Technology).
  • The Government should setup an online integrated portal for broadcasters, teleport operators, and distributors of TV channels, which should facilitate the filing, processing and tracking of applications, payments, frequency assignments, endorsements and renewals with common database.
  • The security clearances required for grant of permission/ license for broadcasting service should be issued within a period of 60 days.
  • The existing procedures of referring the applications to empanelled Chartered Accountants and Department of Revenue for verification of relevant compliances do not lead to any addition. Therefore, it should be replaced by a system of self-declaration.
  • Allocation of spectrum for the commercial satellite usage should be carried out throughout the year. The current procedure of intermittent opening of window neither has any stated objective nor it ensures judicious use of space spectrum.
  • The Wireless Operating License issued by WPC should be valid for period equivalent to service license/ permission period with a provision of renewal on an annual basis.
  • All processes, including time taken by MIB (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting), WPC (Wireless Planning and Coordination), DoS (Department of Space), MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs), and NOCC (Network Operating and Control Centre) for issuing permissions/ licenses for broadcasting services, should be completed within 6 months period.
  • The procedure for effecting changes in the logo, name, language and format should be simplified.
  • The registration of LCO and its renewal should be carried out through online portal.
  • The Government should contemplate creating a centre of excellence exclusively for broadcasting services.