Telecom and Postal Sector – Spectrum Allocation, Call Drops, Predatory Pricing, etc

I&B Ministry introduces draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NA

Mains level : Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023

Central Idea

  • The Information & Broadcasting Ministry recently unveiled the draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023, a transformative legislation designed to modernize and streamline the broadcasting sector in India.
  • This bill presents a unified regulatory framework encompassing traditional broadcasting, OTT content, digital news, and current affairs.

Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023

What is it about? – Replaces outdated laws, including the 1995 Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act.

– Extends regulatory oversight to emerging broadcasting technologies (OTT, Digital Media, DTH, IPTV).

Structure and Definitions – Comprises six chapters, 48 sections, and three schedules.

– Provides clear definitions for modern broadcasting terms and formally defines technical terms.

Self-Regulation and Advisory Bodies – Introduces “Content evaluation committees” for self-regulation within the broadcasting industry.

– Establishes the Broadcast Advisory Council to advise the government on program and advertisement code violations.

Penalties and Fairness – Operators and broadcasters may face penalties such as advisory warnings, censure, or monetary fines based on the seriousness of offenses.

– Imprisonment and fines are reserved for severe violations and are commensurate with the entity’s financial capacity.

Inclusivity for Disabilities – Promotes broadcasting accessibility for individuals with disabilities through subtitles, audio descriptors, and sign language.

– Provides for the appointment of a “Disability Grievance Officer” to address disabled individuals’ concerns.

Infrastructure Sharing and Dispute Resolution – Facilitates infrastructure sharing among broadcasting network operators.

– Streamlines the “Right of Way” section, improving efficiency in addressing relocation and alterations.

– Establishes a structured dispute resolution mechanism.


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