Broadband India Forum (BIF) stated that the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) led measure by Online Curated Content Providers (OCCPs) in adopting the Self-Regulation Code and Toolkit for the sector is a responsible and mature step, and is in the spirit of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations on Regulatory Framework for Over-The-Top (OTT) communication services as issued on September 14, 2020. BIF complimented IAMAI and its member organisations on this proactive and progressive step taken by the Industry.

TV Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum, shared, “BIF has always advocated liberalisation and responsible self-regulation for the Industry, as it encourages greater competition and innovation in the sector, which eventually benefits the end consumers. In the absence of any evident market failure in this vertical, we feel that the adoption of a Self-Regulation code and toolkit by the industry is the right way forward. BIF extends its compliments to the IAMAI and its member OCC companies for this proactive gesture.”

OCC, OTT and Rich Interactive Applications are key drivers in all sectors – be it education, e-commerce, entertainment or any other. Their importance and effectiveness have been amply demonstrated during the recent Covid19 crisis, as numerous digital services have aided the citizens in maintaining connectivity and near-normal operations via various applications. They are a source of tremendous innovation as hundreds of new applications are developed almost every day to cater to various needs of the citizens and to solve real life problems. These applications are major drivers of growth of broadband and digital infrastructure today and have a profound impact on the economic development of the country. This has been adequately established in several studies by credible institutions/agencies such as ICRIER and WIK. ICRIER noted in a report that apps contributed at minimum Rs 1.4 trillion to India’s GDP in 2015-16, and was expected to rise to Rs 18 trillion in 5 years. As per WIK (German Consultant) each 10 per cent increase in usage of Rich Interactive Applications also led to an average increase of USD 5.6 trillion in global GDP (0.33 per cent of GDP) from 2000 to 2015.

In today’s Digital era, enhanced competition and liberalisation should be encouraged along with responsible self-regulation as it leads to greater innovation and eventual benefits for the customers. Hence, BIF warmly endorses this move by IAMAI along with industry members to develop and adopt a self-regulation code and toolkit. OCCPs help create a demand pull for enhanced digital infrastructure, thereby engendering a virtuous cycle for realising the goals of Digital India. Therefore, they should be provided all the required support to nurture and advance, for the benefit of the citizens and the growth of the national economy.