TRAI to Regulate Streaming Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and Others After DTH and Cable

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India implemented a new regulation over DTH and cable TVs. The main motive was to make the system transparent and reduce the monthly cost of the users. But in reality, it was much more complicated and also increases the TV bills of the regular users.

So, the Large number of users started using streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar and more. However, TRAI decided to put all the OTT platforms under their regulation and reportedly that will happen very soon.

A recent report from Telekom Talk Speaks, TRAI is planning to consultation paper to regulate the OTT platforms.

A senior official from TRAI said, “Carriage of TV programming has been licensed out to registered broadcasters who are then allowed to give the content to cable operators or satellite players, under a licensing framework. If a third party, like an app, is showing the same channels without paying carriage charges and license fee, it creates disparity. Either both should be under the ambit of the license, or both should be exempted.”

TRAI wants to make an equal platform for all the broadcasting industry. All the DTH and Cable users have to pay extra taxes and services charges according to the TRAI regulation whereas users don’t have to pay any extra amount for using OTT platforms on any devices.

Currently, All the OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and more are bound by the rules of regulations under the IT Act. If TRAI decides then all the platforms have to follow the regulation and that can result in complex pricing just like we saw we the DTH and Cable TV. In the end, users will be affected as they have to pay more for the streaming services.

Streaming services don’t seem happy about how TRAI is planning to regulate all OTT services.

Star India said, “Trai does not have the authority under the Act (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997) to regulate OTTs the internet ecosystem, of which OTTs are an integral part, is governed and regulated by the Information Technology Act, 2000, and the rules notified thereunder.”

Whereas at the other hand TRAI is getting pressure from the DTH and Cable TV operator for making fair regulation for all the broadcasting services.

The plan is still under discussion and it’s not yet clear if TRAI will regulate OTT services.