The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on 29th March, 2017 released its recommendations on "Sharing of Infrastructure in Television Broadcasting Distribution Sector".
According to the recommendations of Trai secretary Sudhir Gupta the television (TV) broadcasting sector has witnessed tremendous growth in the last decade.
There has been an exponential increase in the number of satellite TV channels which predominantly distributed using Cable TV, Direct to Home (DTH), and Head-End in the Sky (HITS) networks to subscribers.
At present, there are seven DTH operators, more than 1200 Multi System Operators(MSOs) and 2 HITS operators in the country.
The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) had sent a reference in April 2016 requesting TRAI to examine the issue of the infrastructure sharing and provide its recommendation.
The MIB had also sought recommendation on the amendment that may be required in the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and Rules to facilitate the infrastructure sharing.
The TRAI examined the issues in sharing of infrastructure in TV broadcasting distribution sector comprehensively through comprehensive consultation with the stakeholders by issuing pre-consultation paper, consultation paper and conducting open house discussion with them.
After considering the comments, counter-comments and views expressed by the stakeholders during the consultation process, the recommendation was finalized on "Sharing of Infrastructure in Television Broadcasting Distribution Sector".
These recommendations are to ease up policy environment for facilitating sharing of infrastructure in TV broadcasting distribution sector, on voluntary basis.
In addition, it would lower the entry barriers for new service providers and provide more space on broadcasting distribution networks for niche channels - necessary for satisfying the diverse needs of general public - to reach targeted customers.
Lowering of entry barriers in the distribution space could propel competition in the market and more choices to consumers due to presence of multiple operators in single territory.