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TRAI Recommends 100% FDI In DTH, HITS, IPTV, Mobile TV, Cable Networks

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended that the country's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting increase the limit for Foreign Direct Investment in DTH, HITS, IPTV, Mobile TV, Teleports and Multi-System Operators and even Local Cable Operators to 100%: around 49% should be allowed via the automatic route, as per the authority, and subsequent increase in stake should go via the Foreign Investment Promotion Board*. These changes, if approved by the MIB, will bring the digital distribution networks on par with Telecom. In its recommendations, the TRAI has said that "The FDI limits and approval route for broadcast carriage services were kept the same as those for telecom services on the premise that both are infrastructural services akin to each other and there is a growing convergence between the broadcasting and telecom infrastructures" and "On the suggestion of attaching strings to the FDI investment in MSOs networks like rural coverage, the Authority is of the view that no such conditions linking such obligations to the type/nature of investment can be mandated. The stakeholders, including the MSOs, have their own business models and seek investments accordingly. Therefore, prescribing any conditions regarding the same may be detrimental to their business interests. Moreover, prescribing any such conditions will place the MSOs in a disadvantageous position vis-a-vis their competitors viz. the operators of DTH and HITS platforms." There are, of course, concerns regarding cross media ownership and vertical integration of channels and distribution, but that is being addressed by the TRAI in a…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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