Regulators

Parliamentary IT report cites high charge by Antrix as hurdle to satellite connectivity

Expensive bandwidth stands as the main constraint to connectivity in remote areas

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/08/13/vi.jpg?itok=N2VGqy4f

MUMBAI: Despite the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) citing high cost of satellite-delivered bandwidth to reach remote areas for providing broadband services, parliament’s committee on IT has observed that prohibitive cost should not come in the way of availing of the services as adequate funds are available, including those from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

Earlier also DoT special secretary N Sivasailam blamed the turf war between the ministry and Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) for delays in taking connectivity to far-flung areas.

While in phase I of BharatNet project, satellite connectivity was taken up only in one gram panchayat (GP), but in phase II, more than 6407 GPs are planned to be connected. 4938 GPs are in North Eastern Region, 885 GPs in Jammu & Kashmir and 584 GPs are in the rest of the country. 1407 GPs were supposed to be provided with broadband connectivity through satellite by June 2018 by BSNL and the rest were to be completed by December 2018 through a bidding process. BSNL was expected to have completed connectivity to 1407 GPs by now.

Shortage of satellite bandwidth and huge operational cost charged by "Antrix" are cited as the impediments associated with connectivity through satellite. The high operational cost is due to ISRO’s monopoly and the DoT has informed the committee that with the availability of more bandwidth in two to three years, sufficient capacity shall be available.

“The capital cost of satellite is very little. But the recurring cost is prohibitive. We provide satellite connectivity on a very small bandwidth to Andaman and Nicobar and it costs us something like Rs 300 crore for that small population to be able to pay for bandwidth. It is typically because of the monopoly of ISRO. In India, satellite communication is 300 times more expensive than in the US. So, satellite is prohibitive. We are going for it only in areas where it is not technically feasible to do any other thing,” DoT secretary stated.

Areas like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and the North Eastern states have had basic challenges halting the project’s timely implementation. “The committee recommends that sincere efforts be made to achieve the target of providing connectivity through satellite to all the identified 6407 GPs covering above states,” the recommendation adds.

When the committee questioned the DoT on the issue of availability of sufficient bandwidth, the representative of the department stated, “We want higher bandwidth for which the USOF and the Bharatnet can make the payment. But the bandwidth is not available. They are going to put two satellites in the orbit this year. With that more bandwidth would be available. But right now, there is a crunch of bandwidth with ISRO in these difficult areas, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and North-East. So, the issue with the ISRO is availability of bandwidth and the cost is very high. It is higher if we compare it with the international rates.”

Since heavy investment is involved, the committee even questioned if providing connectivity through satellite will be sustainable in the long run. To this the department stated that with the availability of more bandwidth in two to three years of time especially through High Throughput satellites in Ka-Ku band and Ka-ka band from DOS/ISRO sufficient capacity shall be available. ISRO is planning to launch series of satellites in near future to make available the enhanced satellite bandwidth.

BharatNet project can enhance the lives of thousands giving them access to information available online and enhanced communication with the privileged part of the country. The ISRO and DoT issue needs to be resolved on priority basis to put an end to the delayed implementation.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/07/amit.jpg?itok=R82mdI7T
26% FDI cap should apply to news aggregators too: I&B secy Amit Khare

NEW DELHI: News aggregators could be seeing some trouble in paradise. The ministry of information & broadcasting secretary Amit Khare, in a discussion at FICCI Frames 2020, said that FDI (foreign direct investment) rules should be applicable to print media as well as news aggregators.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/07/bhc_1.jpg?itok=SG_g-Z4-
Bombay high court grants interim relief to HUL in brand name row with Emami

NEW DELHI: Hindustan Unilever heaved a sigh of relief as the Bombay high court gave an interim relief in the case with Emami involving HUL's rebranding of its skin cream for men Glow & Handsome. Reportedly, Emami had claimed that it already has a cream named Glow and Handsome.

Regulators High Court
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/07/mib.jpg?itok=ClXYsPJ2
I&B ministry to announce SOPs for M&E industry

NEW DELHI: Information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar today announced that the government will soon come up with new bring standard operating procedures for shooting in a post-pandemic world and will provide incentives for production across TV, film, animation, gaming and co-production...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/07/prasar.jpg?itok=1EBx0bMK
Prasar Bharati gets 4 new board members

NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati, in the process to fill nine vacant positions in its 13-member board, has announced the name of four new part-time members: music composer Salim Merchant, BJP spokesperson Shaina NC, Dainik Jagran editor-in-chief Sanjay Gupta and media professional Alok Agrawal.  Another...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/07/TRAI-Story.jpg?itok=BGlWB_BG
Tamil Nadu MSO writes to TRAI alleging broadcasters' non-compliance to NTO 2.0

Tamil Nadu-based multi-system operator (MSO) Apple Network Private Ltd. has written a complaint to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) against major pay-TV broadcasters for allegedly not complying to new tariff order 2.0 (NTO 2.0).

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/01/ib.jpg?itok=QnJWzm7p
I&B ministry grants registration to 10 MSOs in May, June

KOLKATA: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has published a document listing all the registered multi-system operators (MSO) in the country. As per the document, there are 1664 registered MSOs in India as on 25 June 2020. Six and four MSOs were granted registration in the month of...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/28/pb.jpg?itok=mLlsJrWL
Prasar Bharati reviewing contract with Press Trust of India

Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati is said to be reconsidering its equation with news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) and is learnt to have sent a letter to the news agency over its reporting.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/25/trai.jpg?itok=4WUxhhpi
TRAI launches channel selector app

MUMBAI: In a move to facilitate consumers to view their TV subscription and choose the channels of their interest while removing the unwanted ones, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India launched a channel selector app.  TRAI said that after issuing the new tariff order for broadcasting services...

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/06/16/trai.jpg?itok=VFJpl5wm
TRAI reiterates need for converged regulatory regime for telecom & broadcasting services

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) again highlighted the need for a converged regulatory regime for telecom and broadcasting services in India following the model of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in US and Office of Communications (OfCom) in the UK.

Regulators TRAI

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required