Convergence of technologies is shortening the gap between a telco, a cable operator or a DTH operator. These services were distinctly basic and survived on their own for many years, but no more. We have stepped into the age of convergence where every new application is being looked at with interest by every one. What was possible on one kind of service is possible on the other too.
TRAI released a Consultation Paper on Issues relating to Commercial Tariff on 21st April, 2006. This Consultation Paper deals with the issue of commercial tariff for broadcasting and cable television services. The Tariff Order dated 1.10.2004 did not distinguish between commercial and other services. While dealing with a batch of petitions filed by the Hotel and Restaurant industry, the TDSAT in its judgment dated January 17, 2006 concluded that the Tariff Order does not cover commercial Services. Accordingly after careful examination TRAI decided as an interim measure to amend the Tariff Order and provide for a ceiling for commercial tariff also. This ceiling was fixed as the tariff as on March 1, 2006. This Tariff Order was issued on March 7, 2006.
An digital pay TV services generate sufficient revenues to support the very costly project of installing a fully interactive multimedia broad band infrastructure? Broadly conceived, then the question is a particularly difficult one because what it really asks is; How to make a business case for a short term (five or ten year)?
A country’s regulatory philosophy is built on its own unique history and traditions. In India so far we had the experience of state monopoly in the infrastructure development. After 50 years of independence, we are fast moving towards privatisation. However, we have to tread our path very carefully so as not to go off the track in a haste. On the other hand we have to counter the political lethargy in the country. There is a tendency to slow down the matter if there are no personal gains to be made.
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