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Latest Satellite News Discussion, Govt suspends applications for new TV channels on spectrum i at General Satellite News forum; NEW DELHI: With as many as 512 television channels operating in the country, the Government has with immediate effect suspended ...

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Govt suspends applications for new TV channels on spectrum i
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Govt suspends applications for new TV channels on spectrum i - 20-January-2010, 17:44

NEW DELHI: With as many as 512 television channels operating in the country, the Government has with immediate effect suspended receipt of new applications for permission to uplink television channels from India and downlink channels to India until the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India submits its report on spectrum availability.
In an order of 18 January, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said "it has been observed that although improved technologies have resulted in better utilization of the available spectrum and transponder capacities, the spectrum and transponder capacities for satellite TV channels are not unlimited. A need is felt to revisit the present policy for uplinking and downlinking with respect to the approach towards grant of permission including the eligibility criteria and the terms and conditions of the permission."
The notice also said that with the passage of time, a number of issues have arisen for consideration in this regard on which recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) have been sought.
Early in October 2009, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni had written to Trai Chairman JS Sarma to examine issues relating to expansion of private television channels in the country.
The Minister asked the Authority to examine ways of checking the financial viability of parties that apply for setting up news channels in the country. This will include checking whether those applying for new channels are genuine applicants.
Trai has been asked to consider whether there should be a cap on the total number of private channels in the country.
However, Soni on 7 December denied in Parliament that the directive to Trai to examine the status of television channels in the country implied any plans to curb the growth of the sector. She said the study to examine the maximum number of channels that could be telecast was being carried out in view of spectrum constraints.
She said as many as 512 private satellite TV channels had been permitted under uplinking and downlinking guidelines.
Another 152 applications are awaiting permission to uplink from India and 14 applications are pending for permission to downlink from India, she added.
   
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