Unregistered cable operators hurdle to IPTV service: TRAI

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Mumbai, Feb 8 (UNI) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today said it wants to give the green signal to cable and telecom operators for providing internet protocol television (IPTV) service, but the large number of unregistered cable operators in the country is posing a problem.

Speaking at an international conference on Internet Protocol (IP) multimedia subsystems here today, TRAI secretary R K Arnold said the recommendations on IPTV services, proposed on two platforms -- cable and telecom operators-- has been approved by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) and released for the operators.

But, to bring under regulation a huge chunk of uregistered cable operators, would take time. There are about 50,000 unregistered operators in the sector, he pointed out.

''Volume-wise there are about 70,000 small and big operators, but only 20,000 of them are registered,'' Mr Arnold added.

IPTV is a next-generation version of viewing and exchanging audio-visuals as well as media contents using an IP network and high-speed broadband technology.

With the I&B Ministry's nod, operators registered under the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 will be able to provide IPTV services without requiring further license.

However, TRAI's recommendations for telecom companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide IPTV services have not yet received approval from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), according to sources.

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