DTH

New DTH guidelines will make the sector competitive: Javadekar

The changes will also have a positive impact on consumers, he added.

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KOLKATA: At the end of last year, the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) announced revised guidelines for direct-to-home (DTH) operators in India. The new DTH policy will make the sector competitive and will have a positive impact on consumers, I&B minister Prakash Javadekar informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The minister mentioned that the guidelines with enhanced period of license with provisions of renewal beyond the initial licence period will ensure continuity and a rationalised licence fee regime. Moreover, the rules will have a positive impact on qualitative and competitive services being extended to the consumers in the long term.

“The changes will facilitate ease of doing business, offer employment opportunities, make the sector competitive with likelihood of new players coming forward to provide DTH services and also provide a rationalised licensing fee regime and enhanced period of licence,” he detailed.

After resolving the long standing impasse on the DTH licence policy, the government announced DTH licences will now be issued for a period of 20 years. Under the new rules, licence fee will be collected quarterly instead of annually.

Changes had been approved for 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the DTH sector which was earlier limited to 49 per cent. The decision had already been taken by the ministry of commerce and industry but the sector could not avail the benefits due to past MIB guidelines.

The cabinet also approved the sharing of infrastructure between DTH operators. Distributors of TV channels will be permitted to share common hardware for their subscriber management system (SMS) and conditional access system (CAS) applications. Javadekar said at the time of announcement that the decision had been taken to create a level playing field.

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