SIA India Wants a Levelled Playing Field for Satellite Broadband

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The Satcom Industry Association - India (SIA-India) has just submitted a response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI’s) consultation paper on ‘Road to Promote Broadband Connectivity and Enhanced Broadband Speed’. SIA-India said in its response that the industry regulator should provide a levelled playing field for both the satellite broadband operators and the fixed-line broadband operators. Here are all the points that SIA-India wants TRAI to consider in regards to the regulation of satellite broadband in India.

TRAI Must Include Satellite Broadband for all Future Consultations

In its response, SIA-India has asked TRAI to must include satellite broadband in all the future debates and consultations that revolve around broadband in India. Further, the satcom industry body wants the regulator to create special incentives for VSAT and satellite broadband service providers just as the fixed-line broadband providers get.

SIA-India said that the way fixed-line broadband networks are incentivised to proliferate, the same way satellite broadband sector should be incentivised so that a levelled playing field can be provided between different technologies.

Further, the industry body said that any form of streamlining or liberalising the licensing framework must also include the satellite broadband sector with a ‘single access window’. SIA-India also suggested that broadband delivery through satellite should be prioritised through Bharat Net.

On top of this, SIA-India suggested that if there is any form of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) provided to subscribers of the fixed-line broadband connection, the same benefit should also be provided for the satellite broadband sector.

All of these requests by SIA-India is to ensure that all the benefits are provided equally to the broadband service providers. This would not discourage the companies from providing quality broadband services to their subscribers.

Lastly, SIA-India has suggested that if there is any exemption period applicable for the fixed-line broadband providers, the same shall be extended to the satellite broadband providers.

For the unaware, SIA-India is an industry body (non-profit) that represents and looks after the interests of the satellite ecosystem of India. The need for such rules and regulations will become more apparent once the satcom companies start providing satellite broadband services in India by the next year.

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