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Convergence: TRAI proposes Rs 5 cr entry fee

Source: PTI
March 20, 2006 18:39 IST
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Telecom regulator TRAI on Monday pitched for a single regulator for the telecommunications and broadcast sector and called for revival of Communications Convergence Bill, besides suggesting a much lower Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) entry for a licence in the converged scenario.

This stand of TRAI marks a shift from its earlier suggestions on unified licensing, for which it had recommended levying a fee of Rs 107 crore (Rs 1.07 billion).

"There should be reduction in the entry fee to reflect the changes made in the entry fee for NLD/ILD licence. Thus, this entry fee should come down to Rs 5 crore as against Rs 107 crore recommended earlier and this should further reduce to Rs 30 lakh (Rs 3 million) after five years as already recommended," it said, while asking the Government to implement unified licensing proposals at the earliest.

"However, several changes need to be made in this (Convergence) Bill. Content regulation should be kept out of the purview of the converged regulator. The division of powers between the government, TDSAT and TRAI should also broadly correspond to what is presently the position," the regulator said, releasing the recommendations on convergence.

"Convergence of technologies is rapidly blurring the boundaries between telecommunications and broadcasting. It is necessary for the legal and regulatory framework to adapt to this convergence and actively promote such convergence. This would also help in facilitating competition," TRAI said.

There should be a converged regulatory regime. The starting point for this exercise should be the Communications Convergence Bill, 2001, it said.

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