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June 2018



FCC - the US regulator has declared that the 2015 open internet rules will lapse around June 10.

In December 2017, the FCC under Trump, repealed the Obama era "net neutrality" rules.

The new rules allow ISPs to block or slow websites (e.g. of competitors) as long as they disclose the practice.

A group of states and others have filed suit to try to block the new rules from taking effect. The revised rules were a win for providers like AT&T Inc and Comcast Corp but are opposed by internet firms like Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc (Google's parent company).


IPTV accounted for 4 million of Spain's 6.6 million Pay TV subscribers, according to the latest figures from the CNMC.

IPTV gained 569,000 subscribers in 2017 against a drop of 109,000 for DTH.

Convergent packages are driving IPTV growth with 11.7 million customers as of December 2017, up 706,000 with "quintuple play" offers reaching 5.5 million subscribers, up 707,000.

The FTTH market also saw significant growth with almost 2 million lines in 2017. As of December 2017, there were 37 million FTTH passed homes, up 6 million on the previous year. There are 6.6 million FTTH subscribers, up 1.8 million. According to the report, 45.7% of all broadband lines in 2017 were FTTH.


Reliance Jio may get fresh investments as parent company Reliance Industries may ₹ 60,000 crore into the telecom unit this fiscal year.

Further, Jio may borrow as much as ₹ 1 trillion, according to the same press report.

Jio will focus more on Fibre-To- The-Home, enterprise offering, Internet of Things services and other digital services.

JIO already has a subscriber base of 187 million.


Video streaming company Netflix has signed an agreement Tata Sky. TataSky subscribers will get access to Netflix content, via 'future Tata Sky platforms.' Details remain unclear.

Tata Sky MD & CEO Harit Nagpal said in a statement that they will soon "announce the offering possible with this partnership."

Netflix has already tied up with Airtel and Videocon d2h to provide a 'NetFlix' button on the remote which takes subscribers direct to Netflix content, to be viewed via the internet.

Recently, Netflix co-founder & CEO Reed Hastings said the company is very happy with the results of its price of ₹ 500 to ₹ 800 in India and there was no plan to lower the price.


Broadband has the potential to unlock a trillion dollar digital economy for India, by 2022 and reach 9 out of 10 people and add up to 10 million job according to a recently launched EY-CII report.

Fiber networks will be a key enabler.

At the launch of the report, DoT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said, "The intelligent platform is nothing but a combination of Big Data, AI, Virtual Reality etc which are emerging and coming together. It will become far more powerful and influential as we move forward."

According to the report, toady an average Indians spend 200 minutes daily their mobiles, have the second highest app downloads globally and almost 79% of the web traffic in India is on mobile.


21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch has said that the company will invest an additional US$ 50 million in Hotstar in FY18. Hotstar, he said, exceeded 140 million users in April 2018. The company follows a July to June FY.

He also said that Star India will touch $500 million EBITDA in FY18.

"We're very comfortable that we'll hit our $500 million EBITDA target at Star TV. We had decided, however, from the strong quarter in the year to continue to increase our investment in Hotstar, which for the year will be about $50 million," Murdoch said in an interaction with analysts. He felt that despite the high bids, the India cricket rights will be monetised well.

21st Century Fox CFO John Nallen said international EBITDA increased 23%, led by a more than doubling of contributions by Star TV.


Austrian media authority KommAustria has rejected plans by public broadcaster ORF to set up its own YouTube channel.

KommAustria said it did not fundamentally oppose the use of social media platforms by ORF but argued that an exclusive deal between ORF and YouTube would discriminate against other, comparable companies.

KommAustria also prohibited ORF from operating the commercial online video service Flimmit, which it owns via subsidiaries, as a public service and thus partly financed by the licence fee. ORF intended to turn Flimmit into an Austrian Netflix-type service, offering programmes that have already been broadcast on its TV channels or are intended for broadcasting. Since, as part of ORF it would be financed by public license fee, ORF was required to provide proof of the economic viability, before sinking public funding into the project.

$51.4BN OTT BY 2022

OTT video services have attracted hundreds of millions of subscribers worldwide, causing pressure on traditional Pay-TV operators. This OTT growth trend is expected to continue, reaching a subscriber base of 400 million in 2018, according to ABI Research.

The report states that OTT video services offer less expensive alternatives and no long-term contract features compared to existing Pay-TV offerings that are driving an increasing number of Pay-TV customers to switch to these OTT services.

ABI Research forecasts that OTT video services will put more pressure on traditional Pay-TV services especially in the developed markets with high broadband and Pay-TV penetration. The worldwide OTT video market is expected to grow at CAGR 10 per cent to generate $51.4 billion in 2022.


Star India lost ₹ 489 Crore on its Hotstar OTT platform in FY 2017. This is 20% more than its 2016 loss.

Hotstar is operated by Novi Digital Entertainment, a subsidiary of Star India. Novi Digital Entertainment started operations in February 2015.

Revenue from operations was ₹ 321 crore. Subscription revenue was ₹ 129.4 crore & Ad revenues ₹ 16.8 crore in FY17.

Hotstar also earned ₹ 23 crore from licensing of content to others. Employee benefit cost rose doubled to ₹ 83.3 crore in FY17 from a year ago.

According to data released by Comscore, Hotstar is the second largest video streaming platform after Google's free-to-watch product, YouTube, with a userbase of 220 million as of January 2018. The total number of unique viewers stood at 28 million in January, as users spent 2 billion minutes watching content on the platform.


The Telecom Commission has approved various issues including in-flight connectivity, internet telephony and telephone ombudsman for addressing customer complaints.

In-flight connectivity will be allowed within Indian air space with a licence fee of Rupee 1 for the Telecom service provider. The consumer price will be decided by the operator and the airline company.

The decision will not require Cabinet approval and operations should commence within the next 3 to 4 months.

The TC has also approved a submarine cable between Chennai and Andaman & Nicobar islands at a total cost of ₹ 1,224 crore.


A a group of over 100 journalists representing different digital platforms have written a letter to I&B minister Smriti Irani expressing concern over the ministry's move to form a committee to look into the issue of regulating online content.

On 4 April, the ministry had released an order stating that the online media content will be regulated in line with the rules applied to print and electronic media. A committee was also reportedly formed to devise a framework. There are no rules to restrict online content publishing as of now.

Seema Mustafa, founder editor of The Citizen, said "The attempt to control the internet comes from classic insecurity associated with governments fearful of dissent. The essentially bureaucratic composition of the committee set up by GOI is an indication of the direction the so-called regulation mechanism can be expected to take. Peoples all over the world have opposed and stopped such attempts by governments to control this space."


According to TRAI's latest data, the top Mobile phone companies at end Feb 2018 were: Bharti

Airtel .............. 295.78 million

Vodafone India ......... 217.06 million

Idea .......................... 202.06 million

Jio ............................. 177.13 million

The total subscriber base rose to 1,179.83 million in end-February.


According to a survey by the University of Toronto based Citizen Lab, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and The Indian Express in India, India tops list of websites blocked.

India blocked 1,158 websites out of the 2,464 websites blocked globally.

India had 42 installations operated by 12 ISPs devoted to blocking websites.

Pakistan came second with 20 installations.

Other than those dealing in porn or piracy, websites and web pages found blocked at different points during the testing period in India include those belonging to domestic and foreign NGOs, United Nations organisations, human rights groups, health forums, feminist groups and political activists.


Digital advertising spend is estimated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30% to touch ₹ 12,046 crore by END 2018, says a report jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Kantar IMRB.

The share of digital spending is expected to be about 16% of the total ad spends estimated to be around ₹ 59,000 crore this year.

Digital spends stood at ₹ 9,266 crore in 2017, growing at 27% over 2016.

Currently, search takes the lion's share of digital ad spends (27%) followed by video and mobile (19%), social media (18%) and display ads (16%).

The report titled Digital Advertising in India 2017 stated that spend on mobile (which includes both SMS and in-app ads) recorded 34% year-on-year growth from ₹ 1,314 crore in 2016 to around ₹ 1,761 crore in 2017. Advertising on mobile is considered to be innovative which conveys the message clearly.

Apart from mobile, video ads emerged as the second fastest growing advertising format registering a 28% yearon- year growth from ₹ 1,387 crore in 2016 to ₹ 1, 779 crore in 2017. n