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May 2018

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Q: We are a cable network with about 10,000 subscribers. We visited SCaT 2017 last year in Mumbai and there was a very attractive offer to start a OTT platform. We are seriously think of trying it for 1 year. We want to also include some TV channels on the platform to provide Live TV.

What license do we need to start an OTT platform ? Please provide details of the procedures and cost of license. Where should be apply? We already have an ISP category B license.

A. Bhupendra,
Andhra Pradesh.

ANS: There is no need for a license for any OTT channel or even an entire OTT platform. You also do not require an ISP license to start an OTT service.

zAn ISP license is required only if you are selling internet connectivity.

This was also clarified in the Lok Sabha in Mid March 2018. "MIB does not regulate paid streaming and video on demand services provided over the internet," minister of state in the ministry of Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said in the Lok Sabha.

He further stated that there are enough safeguards available under the Information Technology Act, 2000 which is administered by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) for content appearing on paid streaming and video on demand services provided over the internet.

MEITY, he said, is empowered to block information/ websites/URLs under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The Section 69A has provisions for blocking of Universal Resource Locators only in specific scenarios of (i) Defence of India (ii) Sovereignty and Integrity of India (iii) Security of State (iv) Foreign relations with foreign states (v) Public Order (vi) or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above.

Sections 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act make publishing/ transmitting/hosting of pornographic content including child pornographic content a criminal offence.

"Law Enforcement agencies regularly monitor the web and social media and take appropriate action for blocking of such URLs whenever they notice hosting of objectionable contents as per provision of rules notified under Section 69A of Information Technology Act 2000," Rathore noted.


Q: I am currently receiving a digital signal from a DAS MSO.

I have also been offered a feed from another DAS MSO, and I may also shift to the other MSO in future. Both MSOs have different CAS systems.

Is it possible for me to simultaneously carry the Digital Signals of both MSOs on my Cable TV network? I can then gradually shift all my customers from the old MSO to the new MSO.

Vijay Agrawal,
Odisha, By E-mail.

ANS: The DAS Cable TV feed from each MSO will occupy a certain frequency band.

You can simultaneously carry the 2 different DAS MSO's signals, only if their feeds are on completely different frequencies, and there is no over lap of their transmitting frequencies.

This is most unlikely, as most MSO will send out their digital cable TV signals on similar frequencies, usually 300 MHz to 550 MHz. The 2 overlapping digital signals will interfere with each other even though both you different Conditional Access Systems (CAS).

Do also keep in mind that the existing STBs that you have distributed to your customers will not receive the second MSO's signals. The cost or replacing STBs at all your customers could be prohibitively expensive. Do also check the agreement, whether the STBs from MSO-1 are provided on lease or outright sale. If they have not been sold to the consumer, you will have to return them to MSO- 1 when you stop paying their lease rentals.

Dish Doctor
Ask us any questions or problems faced by you in the course of your business. Our DISH DOCTOR will try and answer them in the best way possible, in the simplest terms, avoiding the unnecessary use of technical terms where possible. The service is available free to our readers and subscribers.

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