Cable Operators, Broadcasters Oppose IPTV’s Inclusion Into Unified Act

Cable operators and broadcasters are opposing any move to govern Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services through the Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) agreement. [via Business Standard ] If IPTV services are also allowed under the unified licence agreement, telcos will become de-facto cable operators as IPTV offers consumers digital quality television (voice, data and video) through telephone lines instead of the usual cable wires. The key reasons for this opposition are obviously increased competition as well as issues such as the exclusion of IPTV from the ambit of cable laws. Then there are other issues such as the differences in the amount of foreign direct investment allowed in telecom deals (74 percent) and media ventures (49 percent.)

But the Business Standard lead threw me off by saying that broadcasters and cable operators are “concerned that they will not be able to comply with downlinking guidelines and cable laws…” and are therefore against IPTV being regulated by UASL. Huh? The fact is that the opposing group is worried that if IPTV is not governed by cable laws then telecom operators providing this service can access any television channel in the world and offer it to subscribers without adhering to current downlinking guidelines that cable operators have to follow. So it is not about broadcasters and cable operators following downlinking guidelines.