Over-the-top services have made a huge difference in the entertainment department of the country. They have brought characters closer to homes and movies closer to people’s hearts. This vastly because of the combination with telecom companies and their slashed prices for the internet. And it is majorly to the fact that the internet has reached a lot of people in every part of the country barring some. There is connectivity everywhere and the fact that entertainment is a part of people’s lives is enough for OTT platforms to perform well.
That said, OTT platforms such as Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and many others have agreed to a certain censorship rule. They will censor their content in a way which will not harm the country’s sentiments or a religious belief of any group. It will also contain the content which is for the adult and keep it separated from the youngsters. That said, these regulations and censorship were not available when the revolution took place, however, there are some other things the OTT platforms need to worry about.
The telecom industries served Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) with a paper asking for regulations to be instilled for the OTT platforms. Companies like Reliance Jio were asking TRAI for similar regulations for OTT platforms as they go through. TRAI accepted the paper and is taking in suggestions. However, the paper has received a lot of negative comments as there are internet authorities which have made sure they don’t support this paper.
The last week’s reports saw the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) say that the OTT platforms have a lot of regulations to go through already and adding more would just mean stuffing them down the drain. It would also make a lot of upcoming platforms wary of entering this segment and it would become insanely hard for them to flourish.
Apart from IAMAI, Broadband India Forum, the Asia Internet Coalition have also said no to this paper. They don’t believe in such regulations as OTT platforms don’t perform the same functions as telecom partners. IAMAI said in the argument submitted to TRAI that these platforms cannot function without the support of telecom partners as everything needs internet.
Asia Internet Coalition, a group which represents leading companies such as, Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Expedia, and Facebook also had its say. It said that such a kind framework which is rigid in nature might kill the competition and instead of creating a level playing field it might lead to consumer destruction which could irreversible.