There is no effort being made by the government to improve infrastructure for the industry. Fibre Optic infrastructure is not available in every part of the country and Bharat Net project for rural area fiber optic networking has not even connected 50% of the target of 250000 gram panchayats. DTH operators also have no distribution system in all these remote areas as they are very low ARPU areas. Satellite broadband is still very costly in India.
TRAI regulations for the broadcasting industry are yet to be implemented as the court battles are going on since about three years now. The latest is that after the Madras High Court gave a split verdict in the Tariff case forcing the TRAI to approach the Supreme Court. The Apex Court has sent the case back and asked the Madras High Court to decide the cases within a month or else it will take up all the cases for final settlement in July this year.
The TRAI has issued recommendations on ‘Ease of doing business in Broadcasting’ put up on its website on 26th February, touching upon reforms in many procedures like downlinking and uplinking guidelines, licensing etc.
The current parliament session is in a logjam as the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), YSR Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) continued their noisy protests over various issues, including the banking scam and special status for Andhra Pradesh. However, the government has passed the Budget 2018 and other matters of the Finance Bill without any discussions or debate. It is learnt that donations from foreign companies to political parties have been legalized to any amount retrospectively since 1978. It appears that PM Modi is in full mood of the next elections ignoring all other problems faced by the nation.
Our annual ‘Year Book & Directory 2018’ is out and was distributed in the Convergence India show in the beginning of March. All those who want a copy may contact our office.