Friday, 4 May 2018

TRAI writes to MIB over processing charges for broadcasters

On 4 May, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) wrote a letter to the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B), in which it questioned ministry’s jurisdiction to impose "processing" charges on broadcasters without asking for TRAI’s recommendations.

In December 2017, the MIB had issued a circular, asking national TV broadcasters for Rs 100,000 and regional broadcasters for Rs 50,000 every time they asked for permission to temporary uplink a live event, or change their channel name or logo or their satellite amongst others.

The regulator wrote the order passed by the I&B ministry should have been avoided, as any change of the permission fee amount would alter the terms of the licence. Also, for such a change, the regulator's recommendations are mandatory under the provisions of the TRAI Act.

TRAI has floated a consultation paper on issues relating to policy guidelines for uplinking and downlinking of TV channels in India. It sought comments from stakeholders and conducted an open house in April.


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