|The Challenge of Convergence
|Justuce S.S. Sodhi
|Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
Justice S.S. Sodhi, Chairperson of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, highlights the advent of digital technology, and the constant challenge to address regulatory issues and uphold competition and consumer interests.
We are witnesses to a sea of change in our technological environment. Innovations and tools are emerging as if from a world of make-believe, into reality at a pace few could have visualised. What deserves particular mention here is the advent of digital technology. This has demolished the age old barriers that existed between transportation of different types of information like voice telephony, broadcast audio, video and data. With this common mechanism of transportation emerging, it has brought into being the phenomenon of convergence of technologies. This convergence opens up tremendous opportunities, and at the same time, raises important and significant regulatory issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure healthy development of all sectors involved namely, communications, broadcasting and computers. There are also social concerns that impel attention. Amongst the transitional regulatory issues arising from convergence of technologies, perhaps the most crucial is that pertaining to bottleneck facilities for competition in the digital environment and prevention of abuse of position by those who control gateways. Conclusion This and other such issues need to be looked at and tackled at the very outset lest gatekeepers undermine competition and adversely affect consumer interests. Herein lies the challenge of convergence.