The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released its recommendations on the backreference from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) on TRAI’s recommendations on “Regulatory Framework for Platform Services” and MIB’s reference on TRAI’s recommendations on “Platform Services offered by DTH operators.”
TRAI has accepted the Ministry’s view that anybody registered as a distribution platform operator (DPO) either with MIB or with post office shall be eligible to carry Platform Services (PS) channels provided that MIB is able to specify compliance structure to ensure those providing platform services make full disclosure on the ownership status and comply with the Programme and Advertising Codes.
TRAI has recommended a maximum of 15 Platform Services to be offered by MSOs, IPTV operators, and HITS operators. The regulator has agreed with the suggestion given by MIB that MIB will obtain security clearance of all MSOs/LCOs who wish to offer PS but were not MHA security cleared at the time of registration.
MIB may ask the MSO/LCO to withdraw any programming service offered on PS that maybe inimical to India’s national security or to public interest. MIB shall ask MSO/LCO to withdraw from distribution of such PS channel or cancel the registration.
TRAI recommended MIB to establish a procedure to review the security clearance of all distribution platform operators offering PS including those wherever there is any change in their ownership or control. MIB may obtain requisite undertaking from the DPOs at the time of granting permission for offering PS.
TRAI recommended that programme transmitted by DTH/MSO/LCO/IPTV/HITS operator as a platform service shall be exclusive and shall not be permitted directly or indirectly with any other DPO and also the programming service directly or indirectly not include any registered TV channel or Doordarshan or foreign TV channel.
Time shift feed of registered TV channels (such as +1 services) shall also not be allowed as a platform service. TRAI has recommended making DPOs provide undertaking to MIB time to time on the platform service being exclusive to their platform.
The entire text of the recommendations running into 38 pages can be read on the website of TRAI.