Video has always been an important medium in the entertainment space, and with the advent of the Internet, its importance has grown manifold. This is the reason why you’ll find YouTube video series thriving while age-old television soaps suffering a dip in their TRPs. Accessibility and retainability make digital video content a hugely popular and widespread medium today, and sport - which is the most consumed commodity in today’s entertainment world - is riding the wave to the fullest.
Broadcasters cannot be allowed to have a free hand on pricings
Private broadcasters often give examples of Taiwan, South Korea and the US which have lifted the government control of tariff regime of television channels, and they call India the last country to still wield a power in deciding what the broadcasters should charge from the viewers. But the private broadcasters ignore the fact that India, unlike these developed countries, has 70 per cent poor population which cannot pay high rates for watching their favourite channels. Our rates should be commensurate with our economy.
Digitisation Phase-III has just ended on 31st January with government’s claim of almost 100 per cent STB seeding. Now only the 4th and final Phase comprising of rest of India, mostly rural, is left. It is expected to have 66 million connections including about 15 million terrestrial connections and 51 million analog cable TV connections to be digitised. Apart from this, about 20 million analogue connections are pending to be digitized from the earlier three phases due to court cases or any other reason. It may be recollected that many far flung areas of Phase- III where it was difficult to connect them with MSO networks in the given time, were also included in the fourth phase.
Net neutrality (NN) is gaining a big momentum amongst the Indian net users. Net neutrality or the principle which seeks equal access to all internet content is vital to stop service providers from misusing the internet traffic or structure for their own profits. There have been multiple consultations on the issue of net neutrality and its related aspects. The ongoing consultation process by the Indian telecom regulator TRAI was initiated pursuant to this reference from the Department of Communication (DoT). The present consultation paper is accordingly being issued in continuation to the Pre-Consultation Paper on Net Neutrality. In view of the complexity of the subject of NN, the Authority decided to undertake a two-stage consultation process.
Today, most of the public funded terrestrial broadcasts in the developed world have become digital. The benefits of digital terrestrial broadcasting over analogue are numerous such as better quality picture and sound, high quality of TV reception, efficient use of frequency spectrum (one DTT transmitter can broadcast multiple TV channels while in analogue, one transmitter broadcasts only one channel), availability of TV channels on mobile phones and other hand-held devices while roaming with no internet connection, and a combination of rich bouquet of SDTV, HDTV, UHTV, mobile TV channels, radio service and other value added services (VAS).
Demonitisation that started on 8th November last year to end corruption, curb fake currency and check terror funding has been redesigned to achieve a cashless society, starting from less-cash, as often said by FM Mr. Arun Jaitley. This has led to sudden and rapid popularity of the digital tools for instant money payment and receipt. Not only private sector but also the government has introduced apps like BHIM to make the idea of a cashless society a reality. Now, people can make digital transactions from a simple mobile based system to the more complicated solutions of net banking, e-wallets, Aadhar based technologies, among others. We are giving a summary of these existing methods for readers to adopt:
The Supreme Court has finally allowed the TRAI to notify its Tariff Order and other regulations which were held up as the broadcasters Star India and Vijay TV have challenged the jurisdiction of the Regulator to regulate the television content and its pricing in the Madras High Court with the plea that they are governed by The Copyright Act. The TRAI had gone to the Apex Court against the status quo order of the Madras High Court on notifying any content pricing. Consequently, TRAI Tariff Order, Interconnection Regulations and Standards of Quality of Service and Consumer Protection Regulations for Addressable Systems have been notified on 03rd March, as we go to print. We shall be giving you a detailed commentry on the Regulations in our subsequent issues.
The Ministry on 27 January permitted all registered MSOs to spread their digital networks pan India irrespective of the area for which they have been licensed. This is nothing but a last bit effort by MIB to achieve success in digitization in Phase-III by 31st January and Phase-IV by 31st March respectively. However, it may be impossible to get the results. Phase III has already been closed by the MIB on 31 January directing all broadcasters and MSOs to switch off analogue signals. A press release was issued on 25 January to this effect.
The Supreme Court on 17th January asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to notify its draft tariff order and interconnection regulations only if it has a strong reason to do so. Even if TRAI decides to notify the draft tariff order and regulation due to strong reasons, it has to place the draft before the Supreme Court to satisfy the issue of jurisdiction, the bench of Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Rohinton Fali Nariman said in an order.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on ‘In-Building Access by Telecom Service Providers’ on Jan 20 to enable the telecom operators to obtain efficient access on reasonable terms and conditions and for the better upliftment of the industry.
The schedule for calling general election to the Legislative Assemblies of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand was announced on 04th Jan, 2017. Poll is scheduled to be held in seven phases as given in the table below.
Modi government's experiment of demonetisation to curb corruption, terrorism and counterfeit, currency is over, leaving behind a trail of problems of currency shortage, unemployment of labour, a severe setback to small and medium manufacturing enterprises, a heavy loss to the farmers etc. The experts feel it may take one to two years to bring the economy to normal. However, the government is patting its back relying on its figures of cash flush in the banks and multifold increase in cashless transaction forced on the masses. So, in figures, our economy is doing very well based on the heavy profits made by the banks, online payment companies and large industries apart from a huge tax haul. What the common man gets is promises, promises and promises for the better future.
The CABLE TV SHOW 2017 KOLKATA, one of the largest show on satellite and cable television & broadband in India, was a roaring success this year with numerous and leading business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) units coming together at the Netaji Indoor Stadium for three days from January 4 to January 6.
Tansform, energise and clean India is the agenda for the Budget this year. Mostly the budget provisions appear to compensate the ill effects of Demonetisation and to lure voters of 5 states going for assembly elections this month, particularly the middle class and low income people who suffered the most during demonetisation. The media and Entertainment Industry has nothing to cheer about.
In the last few months media has played an important role, be it positive or negative. In fact people saw the worst of television media during the 50 days of demonitisation. There was a clear divide in the television channels, some staunch followers of the government and some projecting the other side of the story. Very few tried to project the real picture. This confused the common man and also put the credibility of our media at stake.
As the country moves rapidly towards a digital economy, the regulator TRAI has endeavoured to make the digital infrastructure affordable to the poorest of the poor, so that 'Digital India' dream may be achieved soon. Consequently the Authority has given its recommendations “On Encouraging Data usage in Rural Areas through Provisioning of Free Data.”
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