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TRAI pushes for more of local devices in broadcasting sector

“The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had released a Consultation Paper on “Ease of Doing Business in Telecom and Broadcasting Sector” on 8th December 2021. The last date for receiving written comments on the issues raised in the Consultation Paper from the stakeholders was fixed as 05th January 2022 and for counter comments as 19th January 2022,” TRAI stated in the circular.

This includes equipment used for transmission of broadcast of channels such as head-end, back haul transmission as well as devices for consumer premises equipment such as Set-top-box.

“Digitalization of the Indian broadcasting sector began in year 2012 and was completed across the country by March, 2017. It provided a unique opportunity for the growth of local manufacturers to cater to the demand. The Government of India, vide recently launched initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’, has accorded the highest priority to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub. However, the share of locally manufactured equipment/devices in the broadcasting distribution networks remains quite low,” the regulator said.

“Keeping in view the request of Industry Associations and stakeholders for extension of time for submission of comments, it has been decided to extend the last date for submission of written comments and counter comments up to 19th January 2022 and 2nd February 2022 respectively,” the regulator added. “No further requests for extension would be considered.”

The consultation paper deep dives into issues such as whether manufacturers have adequate local manufacturing capacities as well as measures that need to be taken to improve competitiveness. It has also sought views on reasons for limited market share of local set-top-boxes.

The regulator also sought views on whether the existing policy measures and fiscal initiatives adequately address the needs of the Indian television broadcast manufacturing sector. The paper also seeks views on “cost disadvantages” faced by Indian manufacturers compared to international competitors. CT Bureau

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