Government introduces key amendments to cable TV network rules
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, MSOs are now required to apply for registration or the renewal of registration online, utilizing the Broadcast Seva Portal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This move towards digital processes aligns with the government's commitment to facilitating business operations and reducing bureaucratic hurdles. MSO registrations will now be granted or renewed for a more extended period, specifically for ten years. This alteration provides greater stability and predictability for cable operators, enhancing the sector's appeal for potential foreign investments.
A processing fee of Rs One lakh has been established for the renewal of registration, streamlining financial transactions, and ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements. MSOs are required to apply for the renewal of their registration within a defined window, which spans from seven to two months before the current registration expires. This provision aims to prevent service interruptions and maintain continuity.
These regulatory changes signify a shift from the previous rules, where only fresh MSO registrations were considered, and there was no specification regarding the validity period of MSO registrations, The new framework is expected to foster a more business-friendly environment, enticing foreign investments and encourage growth in the cable television sector. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has emphasized that MSOs with registrations set to expire within the next seven months must submit their renewal applications online through the Broadcast Seva Portal. An additional provision has been introduced to allow cable operators to share their infrastructure with broadband service providers.
This move is expected to yield two primary benefits: first, it will contribute to enhanced internet penetration, especially in remote and underserved areas, and second, it will promote the efficient utilization of existing resources, reducing the need for duplicate infrastructure for broadband services, These amendments signify a positive step towards modernizing and optimizing the cable television and broadband sectors in India. They align with the government's broader objectives of fostering a digital-first economy and expanding internet connectivity to even the remotest corners of the country.