TRAI recommmends change in DTH guidelines, revision of STB norms

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (UNI) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today suggested to the Government to amend the DTH guidelines to permit its operators band neutrality and allow them to operate in both C and Ku bands.

This should be done to maintain level-playing field with High End in the Sky (HITS) operators who may use both the bands for transmission, TRAI said in its recommendations on the issue sent to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The existing DTH license conditions permit DTH operators to provide signals in KU band only to consumers directly without any other intermediary.

The Authority has looked at this issue from the point of maximising competition among different delivery platforms so that the consumer has enough choice.

It had recently sent its recommendations regarding transmission of digital signals to the cable operators through HITS both in C band and KU band, which will in turn enable the cable operators to supply digital signals to the consumers.

Thus, the consumers will have enough choice from among DTH operators, digital cable operators through HITS and conventional analogue cable operators.

It is necessary to maintain a clear distinction between DTH and HITS, and this distinction would have been blurred if DTH was also allowed to offer KU band signals to cable operators. Therefore, the Authority has recommended that DTH should continue to supply signals only to the consumers directly and not to any other intermediary.

But to maitain a level-playing field, it feels, DTH operators should be permitted band neutrality and allowed to operate in both C band and Ku bands by amending the DTH guidelines.

It has also suggested to the Ministry to take up the issue of revision of standards for DTH set top boxes with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to update them for advanced technologies.

Revision of standards should be prospective and should apply to DTH subscribers who are enrolled after six months from the date of such revision.

However, such revision should not compulsorily require the DTH operators to upgrade the STBs of existing subscribers to conform to revised standards, though they would be free to do so on their own,TRAI said.

UNI NAZ SB AS1527

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