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Statutory mechanism needed for convergence issues: Manish Tewari

Press Trust of India
Jan 16, 2013 at 05:45pm IST

New Delhi: Noting that convergence across media, entertainment and telecom was inevitable, I&B minister Manish Tewari on January 16 said that he would raise with the Telecom Minister the need to create a statutory mechanism to address emerging issues.

"Convergence across media, entertainment and telecom space specially with digitisation kicking in, is inevitable. Therefore at some point in time there will have to be an over arching architecture which looks at it holistically," Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari told reporters on sidelines of Convergence India 2013 event.

Admitting that convergence is a reality which cannot be ignored, he said that "I will talk to my senior colleague, the minster of telecom (Kapil Sibal) and see if we can work out a modus vivendi whereby we can put a statutory architecture on the convergence format." Tewari also said that the government was looking at the Digitisation of cable sector as a process which will yield larger benefits like providing the consumer greater choice and clarity in terms of end product which he chooses.

Statutory mechanism needed for convergence issues: Tewari

He said that the govt was looking at the digitisation of cable sector as a process which will yield larger benefits

The whole gamut of triple play which will kick in as result of the last mile becoming the vehicle for broadband access and the two way remit which then get built into it, he said. Tewari said that though there had been difficulties, digitisation had been implemented in the metros which means close to about 10 crore people. He said that the digitisation process in Kolkata is almost through and the ministry had been sensitive to the concern of certain section of consumers and had not forced the pace.

In Chennai, there are issues with the matter still being sub-judice, he said. Tewari said one of government's primary concerns now is to ensure that set top box (STB) manufacturing includes Indian producers because by TRAI's calculation, the whole process is going to lead to revenue expand of about USD 4 to 5 billion and bulk of that revenue comes from manufacture of digital STBs.

"As we speak today most of that business is not coming to India so that is an overriding priority for us as to how we are able to build an indigenous manufacturing model on to it," he said. Tewari also said that it was a good thought that STBs should be inter-operable and would be looked at. He said that

there should be enough operators for the consumers to switch to.

"The state from where I come has only one operator that is why we have made reference to TRAI which is not any state specific that there needs to be market cap in market share and in the distribution space also as there is licence cap in radio," he said.

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