Few days back, I was searching for a website which happens to be about IT and Telecom – somehow I found it, and was greeted with music, which I first thought would be intro music, but not really, it was LIVE streaming of FM radio channel.
Although, I first heard the term called “Internet radio” back in 2000 when I was working with Radio Pakistan Islamabad and PBC had then launched its website. DG radio and Director News were happy enough to announce it – in a message they had said that Pakistanis, world over, will be happy to know about their country. But no one was expecting about the live broadcast at that time which is now possible, and that too very easily.
Coincidentally, I saw a banner on the net that was offering Internet radio streaming for just Rs. 5,000 per month.
When I contacted the given number on web banner, I came to know that we have to pay this monthly fee and any one can launch Internet Radio without any permission from PTA or PEMRA.
The company will offer free website in case of three month advance booking. The website will be designed and maintained by the company. Other then this you have nothing to do about the streaming, all you need is to hook up the radio channel and input it into a computer, that’s it.
Here is the website: http://webhostingspider.com/other-hosting/shout-cast-hosting.html
Although every big FM radio station is airing its live broadcast on internet, but point to ponder is if it is legal? If there are any rules for the Internet Radio or license for it or any one can do it without any permission.
Internet Radio is, by the way, out of the domain for “Frequency Allocation Board” as internet is worldwide and does not come under regional limitation. While the license for the radio channel is attributed to a certain region.
Like some FM stations are for one city. Only few stations of big groups are nation wide and hold the permission of carrying the broadcast form major cities of Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
If we analyze the situation worldwide, we came to know that over 6000 Internet radio stations are there, globally, which are not run by the focus group but by the real people.
Pandora.com, last.fm, and accuradio.com are the leading sites of radio streaming in the world.
It looks that there are new challenges of IT and high technology, along with benefits. This also reminds us to update our laws and regulations, which are mostly from British era.
If we look at PEMRA’s website none of its sections give any detail about the internet streaming. Although it is a continuous process and we may need some time to update our regulations, but it is said to note that IT and Telecom sector is yet to get a minister even after 22 months of the government.