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New Delhi, Feb 18 (UNI) The Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service, whose launch over a year ago has been plagued by confusion over the ambit of the Ministry of Broadacsting and the Department of Telecom would soon find things settled as the former has accepted the recommendatios of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the matter.

IPTV is a new method of delivering and viewing television programmes using an IP network and high speed broadband technology.

It is fast becoming a popular value added service in many countries.

''The TRAI recommmendation have been accepted, and we have given a go ahead to our department to carry out the exercise of making necessary changes in the rules and regulations, '' an official in the Ministry told UNI.

The Department of Telecom too will have to amend some rules, as the service will involve carriage of some such content which comes under their purview, he said.

The Ministry will have to amend the up-linking and down-linking guidelines to enable the broadcasters to provide signals to all distributors of TV channels such as cable operators, multi-system operators, DTH operators, HITS operators, IPTV service providers, the official said.

The IPTV has so far failed to pick up commercially due to various reasons like the high cost of set-top boxes and low penetration of broadband.

However, Executive Director, Operations of state-owned MTNL K C Gupta says that despite slow rate of expansion of IPTV, its prospects were bright as it was the technology of the future.

''Along with passage of time the price of set-top boxes will come down and broadband penetration will improve. In Delhi we have 2500 connections and giving it on demand, but in Mumbai, there was a waitng list of 100,'' he told UNI.

MTNL had launched the service in Delhi in collaboration with Aksh, a Gurgaon based optic fibre company. In Mumbai, the the MTNL partner is IOL.

As per TRAI recommendation, Telecom and internet service providers and cable operators would not need a separate licence and registration to provide Internet Protocol TV(IPTV) services.

Under the existing licensing conditions, Unified Access Services License (UASL) and Cellular Mobile Telephony Service (CMTS) License are permitted to provide triple play service and IPTV is permitted under this provision.

Recently, the government has permitted ISPs having net worth of more than Rs 100 crore to provide IPTV services after obtaining permission from the licensor.


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