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DTH players ask for 8% license fee waiver

Photo: CNBC

DTH players have approached the government to waive the 8 percent license fee imposed on them in line with a similar proposal for broadband services so that they remain competitive in the market, industry body DTH Association has said. The DTH body approached the Information and Broadcasting Ministry following a proposal under the consideration of the DoT to waive the license fee on broadband services.

In a letter dated May 11 sent to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the industry body said the direct-to-home (DTH) volumes have been declining quarter on quarter for a while now and has put thousands of crores of investments and employment of over lakh direct and indirect employees of the sector at risk.

The industry body said broadband is expanding very fast and is being used for content distribution as well.
DTH Association welcomed the proposal to remove license fees to help the consumers, but requested “that the same policy may be made applicable to DTH, and therefore seek a waiver of license fees in line with DoT’s proposed decision”.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that the DoT waive license fees on broadband services for 5 years. “Now with the license fee being waived off for broadband, hence IPTV, OTT will become an even more formidable force and DTH will remain the only distribution platform paying an 8 per cent license fee while distributing just as cable, HITS, free dish and IPTV do, making DTH most uncompetitive in comparison to every other content distribution platform,” the association said.