The Telecom Regulatory Authority has given additional time till 29 Sept for further comments on its consultation paper on Platform Services in broadcasting industry including local video channels.
TRAI had organised an Open House Discussion(OHD) with stakeholders at New Delhi on 24 September 2014, to discuss issues relating to the regulatory framework for platform services operated by TV distribution platform operators. Platform services include the local channels shown on Cable TV.
The meeting in Delhi, organised for the stakeholders in the Northern Region, was the last of a series of four open house discussions organised in different parts of India. The first meeting was held in Mumbai on 12 September; the second in Bangalore on 16 September; and the third in Kolkata on 19 September.
These four OHDs were to enable the Authority obtain first hand information regarding the views and opinions on the issues involved from a wide cross-section of the stakeholders. Representatives of the local cable operators, multi-system operators; broadcasters; DTH operators; HITS operators; content creators; consumer organisations; research institutions; etc. Pre- registered themselves and came for the OHDs.
According to TRAI press release, while the meetings for the other three regions were constructive, wherein not just the issues on the agenda but also other matters relating to development of the cable industry, including digitisation, were discussed. At New Delhi, one set of Cable Operators refused to let the meeting proceed despite assurances of the Chairman TRAI that after completion of the Agenda any other matter of interest can be discussed. Entreaties of TRAI officials and other cable operators, who had come from different parts of India, let the meeting proceed were not heeded and the proceedings were stalled. After 45 minutes of sustained disturbance the meeting had to be called off.
Considering that several of the stakeholders present at the meeting at New Delhi could not put forth views or express their opinions due to its abrupt end, one last opportunity is given to all stakeholders for sending any additional points or comments on the issues upto 29 September 2014. These along with th written comments already received, including those from the stakeholders located in Delhi, will be taken into consideration along with the inputs received at Mumbai; Bangalore and Kolkata Open Houses to finalisse the recommendations.