TRAI seeks Consultation on Provisioning of IPTV Services

Thursday, September 6th, 2007
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New Delhi — IPTV is provision of television signals using Internet Protocol to the subscribers. The provisioning of IPTV services has been engaging attention of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for some time due to lack of clarity on who can provide IPTV services. TRAI proposed draft modification in existing Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 and sought opinion of stakeholders on 6th June 2006.

  1. After due deliberations with stakeholders Authority felt that in-depth analysis is required to address the issues related to provision of IPTV services. Some of these are:
    1. Technological requirement of IPTV services to deliver content through a Set Top Box (STB) may lead to non-compliance of Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 in reference to delivery of Free-To-Air channels without needing an addressable system.
    2. Use of different devices by difference service providers and lack of standardization for IPTV set top box may violate the Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act, 1995 in reference to use of equipment conforming to Indian Standards.
    3. Applicability of FDI norms, downlinking guidelines and programme codes on Unified Access Services licensees licensed under Telegraph Act providing IPTV services.
  2. The Authority is aware that “Convergence” is the driver in the triad-technology market and policy. In span of about 12 years, radical advances in technology, market institutions, forward looking Government policies and regulatory policy backed with sinews of competition have transformed telecommunication sector. Needless to say, it is necessary on a continuous basis to encourage regulatory framework that foster innovation, investment and new services. Any forward looking analysis in the context of ongoing convergence must be technology neutral, given the type of dynamic changes that may result from future delivery of services based on different technologies.
  3. The Authority has deliberated at length on all the relevant issues regarding provision of IPTV services considering technology neutral approach and has come out with certain observations. These observations are:
    1. Both telecom service providers having license to provide triple play services under Telegraph Act and cable TV operators registered under Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 can provide IPTV service without requiring any further license or registration.
    2. The content will be regulated under Up-linking/Down-linking guidelines issued by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
    3. There should be no bar on Broadcasters / content providers to provide their content to IPTV service providers also.
    4. Any breach of the provisions of Act/ License/ Registration/ Permission by telecom service provider/ cable operator/ Broadcaster shall be dealt with by designated agencies, which are responsible for administering such Acts/License/ Registration/Permission.
  4. The Authority hopes that the Position Paper addresses the grey area and will encourage stakeholders to provide IPTV Services. The complete Position Paper is available on our website

More: Position Paper on Provisioning of IPTV Services