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No additional regulations required to enhance competition in cable TV sector, says TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), on Wednesday, said there is sufficient competition in the cable television distribution sector and that no additional regulations are required to enhance competition in this sector. The regulator stated this in its recommendations to the Information & Broadcasting Ministry.

Last year, the Ministry had sought fresh recommendations from the telecom and broadcast regulator on the issues related to monopoly and market dominance in the cable TV sector. The regulator had then sought the views of stakeholders through a consultation paper.

Sources said that in line with its strategy to ensure a light touch and enabling regulatory regime, the regulator decided not to recommend any additional regulations for the cable TV sector as there sufficient competition in the sector. This will ensure that the sector continues to witness growth, sources added.

TRAI, on Wednesday, said: “In view of sufficient competition in the cable television distribution sector at present, the authority recommends that there is no need to introduce any additional regulations or take any corrective measures to enhance the level of competition in cable TV distribution sector. However, developments may be monitored and intervention as felt necessary shall be considered at appropriate time.”

Cable TV infra
Meanwhile, the telecom and broadcast regulator stated that the I&B Ministry could look at taking suitable measures to facilitate leveraging the cable TV infrastructure, including local cable operators, to strengthen broadband services in the country. This can be done by allowing telecom service providers to share the cable TV infrastructure for broadband connections.

“The government may issue necessary amendments to existing rules/ guidelines to enable use of last-mile infrastructure created by cable operator by telecom service providers for promoting broadband connections,” it added. It recommended that it could look at making amendments in the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1995.

It added that the regulations can “explicitly state” that the “cable operators may strive to provide last-mile access to service providers/Internet Service Providers in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner for the proliferation of broadband services“. The Hindu BusinessLine

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