Regulatory Challenges due to Technology Convergence

CIOReviewIndia Team | Thursday, 10 October 2019, 03:44 IST

CIOReviewIndia TeamEvery year new laws are introduced which affect the businesses and leading corporate legal teams to ensure their companies are compliant. While regulations can be complicated, staying on top of the rules and maintaining compliance is highly critical. However, regulatory issues arising out of convergence of technologies need to be addressed immediately.  Today convergence is a reality that will need regulatory attention. Technology convergence comes with numerous challenges when compared to traditional regulatory framework.

Information and Broadcasting Ministry Secretary Amit Khare said there is a separate regulator for press, film certification and broadcast, but all these technologies are now converging on a single device, while speaking at the inauguration of a three-day training programme on ‘Emerging Trends in Broadcasting’. He also spoke about the major challenges such as fast paced changes in technology, convergence of technologies and the regulatory issues arising out of these challenges.

Khare also sought suggestions on issues of regulation of over-the-top platforms (OTT) and digital media. Urging the participants to come up with ideas, he also said that “The ministry of I&B are placing a lot of importance on the technological changes and would appreciate ideas especially regarding OTT and the growth of digital media and the way it needs to be regulated.”

Streamers such as Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon prime video and news portals are part of the OTT platforms. “The challenges of fast-paced technological changes and technology convergence have created massive opportunities. Moreover, we are planning to provide internet to about 20 million households within the next 3 years since the same cables used to provide TV content can also be used to provide internet with slight modifications with a two way switch, which also opens doors for employment opportunities,” adds Khare.

The broadcast industry in India has grown to great extent that out of 298 million households, 197 million households have access to television broadcast. Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) Chairman Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, who inaugurated the training session, said that from the judicial point of view the issues that need to be looked at in the matter of regulation are freedom of speech and expression as well as the right to privacy. There will be a large number of domestic participants at this programme, representing various stake holders that include distributors of DTH and cable industry, government departments, OTT players etc. 

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