Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a Consultation Paper on Reserve Price for auction of FM Radio channels.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) sent a reference dated 22nd August 2019, seeking recommendations of TRAI on reserve prices for 283 cities (260 new + 23 existing), under FM Phase-III Policy.
Accordingly, this consultation paper has been prepared to seek the comments / views of the Stakeholders on the issues related to the estimation of the reserve prices for auction of FM Radio channels.
A reference dated 11th September 2018 was received from MIB seeking views of TRAI as to whether the inflation needs to be factored in on the reserve price of FM Radio channels approved by the Cabinet on 20th December 2018.
The Authority vide its letter dated 9th April 2019 stated that for factoring in the inflation, indexation of reserve prices worked out in 2011 and 2015, may not serve any fruitful purpose. It was also stated that looking at the changed scenario of the FM radio sector, it would be appropriate that the MIB send a fresh reference to TRAI, if deemed appropriate, seeking its recommendations afresh on reserve prices for auction of FM Radio channels in new cities.
Now, in response to TRAI’s letter dated 9th April 2019, MIB vide its letter dated 22nd August 2019 has requested TRAI to furnish recommendations on fresh reserve prices for 283 cities (260 new + 23 existing), under FM Phase-III Policy in terms of Section 11(1) (a) of TRAI Act, factoring in various issues like inflation, indexation of reserve prices worked out in the years from 2011 to 2015, including the reasons for the same as also reasons for variations from earlier recommended reserve prices.
TRAI’s recommendations on Digital Radio Broadcasting are still pending with MIB. In its reference dated 22nd August 2019 MIB has sought reserve prices in 283 cities wherein total of 805 channels are available for auction in Phase-III.
Therefore, TRAI noted that issue again arises whether the future auction of remaining channels of Phase-III may be done by delinking them from technology and Radio broadcasters may be permitted to use any technology (analog or digital) for radio broadcasting on the frequency allocated to them through auction in future based on their business plan.
Written comments on the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by 6th November 2019. Counter-comments, if any may be submitted by 13th November 2019.
The comments and counter comments may be sent, preferably in electronic form, on the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . For any clarification/ information, Mr. Arvind Kumar, Advisor (B & CS) may be contacted at Tele.: +91-11-23220209.