Indian DTH still uncertain
Despite its new Convergence Bill enacted last year (and due to be in place this mid-summer) India still does not see DTH transmission as a likely prospect for 2002, according to local reports. The Indian government is said to be mulling over some sort of limit to the fee charged by cable operators for free-to-air channel distribution. A 2001 survey showed that cable was available in 33 million homes. The total number of TV homes in India is currently estimated at 70 million, leaving 37 million homes still in the target reach of the cable industry.
Even though the ban on the use of the Ku-band frequency was lifted over a year ago to enable DTH broadcasting, the government has not yet received any applications to offer DTH services. The issues keeping broadcasters away from DTH include the requirement to share revenue with the government, and the rule that no broadcasting or cable company can own more than 20 percent of the equity of a DTH provider.