DTH guidelines next week: Swaraj

Come next week and the government guidelines on direct-to-home services should be out if information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj is true to her word.


Swaraj told reporters in New Delhi that the DTH guidelines had been sent back to the I&B ministry after being vetted by the law ministry, according to the Press Trust of India.


It was on 13 January that one of the major regulatory hurdles in the way of the launch of DTH services was lifted. A notification was issued which formally lifted the four-year-old ban on the establishment, maintenance, possession or dealing of equipment capable of receiving Ku band television broadcast signals.


The notification, effective immediately, amending the Radio, Television and Video Cassette Recorder Sets (Exemption from Licensing Requirements) Rules, 1997 removing prohibition for use of such apparatus in the frequency bands 4,800 MHz and above.


What the industry will be closely watching is whether there will a modification in the 20 per cent sectoral and foreign equity cap on DTH operations that the government is demanding. Swaraj has repeatedly said there will be no change in the guidelines issued in November 2000 despite strong lobbying from the industry for its increase.

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