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TRAI seeks views from broadcast industry stakeholders on simplifying process

The regulator floats a consultation paper on 'Ease of Doing Business in Telecom and Broadcasting Sector'

Days after I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra said that the Ministry is working fast on bringing 'Ease of Doing Business in the broadcast sector’ as well as new uplinking and downlinking guidelines, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a consultation paper on 'Ease of Doing Business in Telecom and Broadcasting Sector' on Wednesday.

The regulator has sought views on making all the permissions online and setting up a single-window clearance system that will coordinate with other ministries concerned that are involved in granting permission to a telecom or broadcast player.

"This consultation paper emphasises the need for a single-entry window, wherein an investor/entrepreneur should be able to apply for all the licences/ approvals without any further need to submit physical copies of the application and visit any department physically," the paper said.

TRAI has proposed that the approval should be streamlined to make it completely integrated and accessible online in trackable response mode in the case of approvals where the process involves the movement of the application across various ministries and departments.

The authority proposes to study existing processes being adopted at various ministries and departments and the efforts required to make them end-to-end online and paperless and make various compliances and reports submissions, including generations of management information system (MIS), etc., through electronic and trackable means of communications.

The paper proposes a single-window clearance system for simplified applications with well-defined processes that should be available on the website of the department and ministries.

The regulator has sought views on time-bound approvals with the provision of deemed approvals from the government departments concerned.

For the broadcast sector, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting grants the following permissions/licenses/registrations:

1. Permission for uplinking/downlinking of TV Channels

2. Permission for setting up of uplinking Hub/Teleport/SNG/DSNG 3. License to DTH operators

4. Permission to HITS operators

5. Registration to MSOs

6. Registration to LCOs (by Head Post Office)

7. Permission for operating IPTV services

8. Permission for setting up FM Radio Station and CRS

9. Registration of TRP Agencies,

10. Permission for temporary uplinking

11. Permission for uplinking by the Indian News Agency

12. Renewal of existing permissions

13. Transfer of permission of television channels

14. Permission for change in name, language, genre, logo, format of

television channels

15. Permission for change in the teleport, satellite of television channels

16. Permission for Merger/De-Merger/Amalgamation

17. Addition/Modification of any new service in the existing license/ permission/registration

18. Action for non-compliance/breach of terms and conditions of the license

19. Surrender of license/permission/registration

20. Cancellation/Revocation of license/permission/registration

21. Release of Bank Guarantees (BGs)

The regulator has also asked the stakeholders’ views on the required measures to simplify the various submissions/filings made by teleport operators, DTH operators, MSOs, and other stakeholders at MIB.

Currently, DPOs are required to provide a compliance report every month in respect of carrying the mandatory channels of Government on their platform along with their Logical Channel Numbers (LCNs) through email. Consumer complaints uploaded by MIB on pgportal.gov.in are to be addressed by the DPOs.

Besides, MSOs have been provided a login on the Digital India MIB portal, wherein they have to feed their Set Top Box (STB) seeding data every week. The DTH operators also have to submit the following documents both via email and physical copy. MIB is in the process of developing an online portal enabling the stakeholders to make submissions online.

All the teleport operators having permissions for uplinking and downlinking of TV channels are required to furnish the detailed list of TV channels being uplinked from their teleport by the 15th of every month in the format prescribed by MIB. Similarly, a report maintaining a record of the location and the events which have been covered and uplinked by SNG/DSNG terminals and downlinked at their main satellite earth station is required to be submitted by the commercial DSNG operators before MHA/MIB.

The regulator has fixed January 5 as the last date for comments and January 19 for counter comments.

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