Trai Chairman RS Sharma backs infrastructure status for broadcasters

As an immediate measure, the government should also consider allowing the sharing of infrastructure in the television broadcasting sector, Sharma told ET. “Grant of infrastructure status will enable industry players including broadcasters, cable p...

New Delhi: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman RS Sharma has backed giving infrastructure status to a technology-intensive broadcasting sector, saying it would facilitate capital borrowing and enable players to upgrade their equipment.

As an immediate measure, the government should also consider allowing the sharing of infrastructure in the television broadcasting sector, Sharma told ET. “Grant of infrastructure status will enable industry players including broadcasters, cable providers, and multi-system operators to raise capital. Being a technology-intensive sector, stakeholders need to invest in newer technologies on a continuous basis,” he said.

The industry, according to Sharma, would need capital for upgrading the existing infrastructure including equipment.


The move, if cleared by the government, would allow the sector players to raise funds from non-banking finance companies, insurance firms, and pension funds, as well as the India Infrastructure Financing Company Ltd (IIFCL), say experts.

Experts believe that following convergence of telecom, IT, and broadcasting, the distinction between them has diminished, and as a level-playing field, the benefits under infrastructure status accorded to the telecom sector should be extended to the broadcasting industry too.

“One recommendation is that the government consider issuing a comprehensive policy guideline to promote research and manufacturing of hardware and software for broadcasting services,” Sharma said.
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