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Consensus won day for GoM on DTH guidelines: The inside story

11-November-2000
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Consensus won day for GoM on DTH guidelines: The inside story

The group of ministers that reviewed the guidelines on uplinking and issues connected with DTH were divided on key issues, including throwing open the broadcasting platform for open competition before finalising its full recommendations. I&B Minister Sushma Swaraj was in favour of a single platform, managed by Doordarshan on the basis of an Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) resolution which favoured DD creating a KU-Band DTH platform on which others would come as service providers. Union minister of information technology and parliamentary affairs Promod Mahajan was not in favour of giving the platform exclusively to any single broadcasters. Law, justice and company affairs minister Arun Jaitley ha observer in the meeting that monopoly in DTH and fears about content were secondary to the more realistic fear of vertical monopoly. Jaitley also suggested setting up of a special purpose vehicle for DTH broadcasting with suitable safeguards. He also suggested that a joint venture model where Doordarshan, along with other content providers, would be stake holders. The JV company could look after infrastructure as well as its management. Mahajan said that a special purpose vehicle, to be managed by the consortium of broadcasters with conflicting business interests, would also not be able to take off. Any organisation in India, which is given the DTH platform will have to share it with others as it would have no choice. He also said that the fears relating to content and security could be addressed through appropriate safeguards.

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