DTH

Govt formally lifts ban on DTH, firm on 20% sectoral, foreign equity cap

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One of the major regulatory hurdles in the way of the launch of DTH services in India has been lifted. On Friday, 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 becomes 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.

One issue which is still exercising industry players is that of the 20 per cent sectoral and foreign equity cap on any DTH operations. Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj has repeatedly said that there would be no change in these guidelines despite strong lobbying from the industry for its increase.

Star TV India has recently announced it is going ahead with its DTH plans despite its "difficulties" in meeting the government's criteria to start operations.

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