New Rules for Streaming Services in Pakistan

Pakistan Proposes Licensing and Oversight for OTT Platforms

The Pakistani government is considering new laws for Over-the-Top (OTT) services, which include widely used streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and WhatsApp. This new framework is intended to create a mechanism for licensing, monitoring, and content control for these rapidly expanding online platforms.

The draft laws, which are presently open for public comment, divide OTT services into three categories:

  • Communication services include real-time messaging programs such as WhatsApp and Zoom, which use the internet rather than traditional phone lines.
  • Application services include apps that do not replace traditional telecom services, such as social networking, online commerce, and navigation.
  • Media services includes audio and video streaming platforms.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) would be in charge of registering and licensing most OTT services, with the exception of broadcasting media services, which will remain under the purview of PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority). The framework also specifies methods for content monitoring and removal, which involve the PTA and other government agencies.

The idea includes the adoption of a 15-year license for OTT service providers operating in Pakistan. Telecom operators providing OTT communication services will require PTA approval, although other OTT providers can apply directly for a license.

This new regulatory framework represents the Pakistani government’s efforts to establish a controlled environment for the country’s booming OTT sector. The goal is to encourage responsible expansion while ensuring that material complies with national standards and user safety.

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Nayab Khan

Nayab Khan is a freelance tech-writer whose specialty is absorbing the key data and articulating the most important points. She helps IT based organizations communicate their message clearly across multiple channels.

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