TRAI recommends converged regulation for ICT and broadcast sector

In its recommendation dated February 2, 2018 [Read here] on ‘Inputs for Formulation of National Telecom Policy – 2018’, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI has proposed itself as a converged regulator for information and communications technology (ICT) and broadcast sectors and hence, integrated regulation for both. TRAI has recommended that there should be an integrated regulation of ICT and broadcasting sector and that TRAI itself should be restructured as a converged regulator for both.

While information and broadcasting ministry is the nodal ministry for policy decisions, licensing and content regulation for the broadcast sector, TRAI has powers to regulate tariff, interconnection and quality of services in the sector.

In the recommendations, TRAI proposed that delivery of broadcast services should be allowed using converged wireline and wireless networks, and cable TV networks should also be upgraded for delivery of converged broadcast and broadband services.

A review of satellite communication policy (keeping in view the international developments) has also been suggested.

In the comments submitted to the regulator, television broadcasters and broadcasting associations had opposed the proposal of converging regulation and regulator for both the sectors.

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