Government promises to encourage pvt cos in B'band

NEW DELHI: The Government has promised to encourage private players in broadband.

Speaking at the 13th Convergence India, the I&B minister Jaipal Reddy said, "We welcome broadband technology, our own undertaking BSNL is getting into it. We will welcome not only public sector companies but we will also encourage players from the Private sector."


Addressing the audience, the minister also commented on his favorite topic, that of the broadcast regulator. "The regulator will be totally autonomous and fashioned in the pattern of OFCOM and FCC. These powers shall be enjoyed by a quasi judicial regulatory authority. I am very sure that these powers shouldn't be given to ministers or else it will make monsters out of the ministers," added Reddy amidst applause.



Amongst other topics covered by Reddy were DTH, Interactive Services and FM Radio.

Speaking on the sidelines, he stated that the government will encourage as many players in the Direct-to-Home (DTH) service as possible since India provides huge potential in terms of area as well as diversity for such services.

He said hat the two serious applications (Space TV and Sun DirecTV ) are at an advanced stage of process and will be considered positively provided they are in conformity with the laid down rules and requirements.

Adding further, he said that the DD?s DTH service provides the only free-to-air platform in the whole world.

Reddy also said a policy package for the expansion of FM radio has been finalized and would be taken to the Cabinet shortly.

The package is based broadly on the recommendations of the Amit Mitra Committee, he added. He also expressed the hope that FM radio in the private sector would grow immensely as India provided scope for over 400 such stations.

Reiterating the Government?s resolve to check obscenity in the electronic media, Reddy said that the proposed regulatory authority for the purpose would be truly autonomous and the Ministry would have a very limited role in its functioning.

He further said that the issue was still under consideration as to whether there should be a single regulatory body or two different regulators-one for content and the other for carriage.

Interestingly on being asked by Indiantelevision.com about subsidies in animation and reservation of airtime for animated and dynamic graphical content, he replied, "Presently the pubcaster is not in a strong enough position to consider subsidies or reservation of airtime for animation. However we shall look into it in the future."

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