In the matter of the development of a third-party application for channel selection, the Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) had said that there would be privacy and security issues if the operators were to share the information with the third party. However, now in a new move, Trai has got the DPOs to share their Application Programme Interface (API) with it. For now, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has also put on hold to the sharing of API with any third party. But, with that being said, Trai has remarked that the sharing of API with the third party is common in any business these days and there can be measures set for this purpose to overcome the security and privacy issues that the DPOs are talking about. This means that currently, there is no mandate on the DPOs to share their APIs with third parties.
Trai Makes Another Amendment to QoS Regulations
Trai has stated, “However, in view of the other suggestions of the stakeholders that they are open to share their API with TRAI and also willing to modify their APP and website as per guidelines issued by TRAI, the Authority is not mandating DPOs to share their APIs with the third party at this stage.”
As a result of this, Trai has made a second amendment to the quality of service and consumer protection regulations thus pushing a mandate to the DPOs that they ought to make the channel selection process easier and more convenient for the subscribers. Via this second amendment, Trai has essentially mandated that the DPOs should make the process easier for the subscribers on their websites, apps and also should also avail the service on the Trai portal by sharing APIs with the regulator. The API specifications are also currently being finalised by the sector watchdog which will be separately communicated to the DPOs. Also, the DPOs will be asked to communicate information to Trai via the APIs when Trai asks for the same during the integration of the channel selection process.
With these changes, Trai has issued the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards of Quality of Service and Consumer Protection (Addressable Systems) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2019 (6 of 2019).
Trai Looking Forward to Setup New Channel Selection Method
Although under regulations, Trai has mandated every DPO to avail a process on its website and on its app to make the channel selection process easier, there were still a lot of complaints from the subscribers of DTH services that they were not able to select their channels with ease. Therefore, to solve this, Trai has been looking into the matter of setting up another way for channel selection. Until now, the DPOs have had no hesitation in sharing the APIs with the sector regulator citing that their data would be safe with the regulator. However, on the question of sharing the data with a third party is where the DPOs were a little hesitant.
Also, before the regulator began this process, it had set up a committee to look into the functioning of the websites and apps which were allowing the subscribers to change channels on their subscriptions. On which, the committee had found that some apps and websites were very cumbersome to navigate and did not allow easy channel selection. This led to the idea of the development of a third-party application by Trai, which would ensure easy and convenient channel selection for the subscribers.