New Delhi: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has sought views of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on measures to prevent monopolistic operations by multi-system operators and local cable operators.
In a statement released today, the ministry said that it has requested TRAI to provide its recommendations in this sector "to ensure fair competition, improved quality of service, and equity, should any restriction be imposed on MSOs/LCOs to prevent monopolies/ accumulation of interest"?
The ministry also sought to know from TRAI that if restrictions should be imposed and what should be the form, nature and scope of such restrictions.
In its statement, it said that the amendments required in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) 1995 Act and the Rules framed thereunder may also be suggested.
As per recent amendments in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Rules 2012, it has become mandatory for MSOs to get registration from the I&B ministry to operate in those areas which are notified for analogue switch off.
"It has been observed that the cable TV distribution is virtually monopolised in some states as operation of the entire cable TV network is dominated by a single entity in that State," the I&B statement said.
"It is felt that such monopolies may not be in the interest of consumers and may have serious implications in terms of competition, pricing and healthy growth of cable TV sector in that market."
Earlier, the ministry had made a reference to TRAI to examine and recommend measures to address issues of cross media restrictions and safeguards. With this reference, the issues of monopolies in the broadcasting sector in the most comprehensive sense is set to get addressed by TRAI, the ministry said.