More reports on: Entertainment

Trai recommends 20-year licence, reduced fee for DTH operators

24 July 2014

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended extension of licence period for direct-to-home (DTH) operators to 20 years, while proposing bringing down fees to eight per cent of the adjusted gross revenue.

The broadcast and telecom sector regulator has recommended a new DTH licensing regime with a one-time entry fee of Rs10 crore for DTH operator, with a reduction in existing licence fee from 10 per cent of gross revenue (GR) to eight per cent of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

The broadcast and telecom sector regulator also prescribed additional regulations for vertically-integrated broadcasters, allowing them to control only one distribution platform operator (DPO).

Vertically-integrated broadcasters are entities which run TV channels as well as distribution platforms as MSO and DTH.

While suggesting an extended tenure of 20 years for the DTH licence, Trai also proposed renewal of licence for 10 years at a time.

Trai also suggested giving liberty to the existing DTH operators to "migrate to the new regime at any time during their currency of their existing licences".

The DTH operators are paying 10 per cent of their GR, while the telecom operators pay only eight per cent of their AGR.

Under AGR, revenues arising out from other activities like interest on savings, dividends, bundling of handsets and others are excluded for calculating the licence fee.

Trai also wanted the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to come out with updated specifications for the set-top-boxes (STBs) in consultation with the regulator.

On the issue of cross holdings in the broadcasting and the distribution sectors, Trai said there was a need to bring "uniformity" in the sector.


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