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US seeks changes in Indian DTH satellite policy

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The US has said it will “encourage” India to change its policies which give exclusive rights to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for selling the satellite capacity to the lucrative direct—to—home television market.

In a report, the US Trade Representative (USTR) raised concerns over India not allowing foreign operators to participate in direct selling of satellite capacity to direct—to—home (DTH) market.

It also blamed India for “lack of transparency in the rules governing the provisions of satellite capacity”.

It said foreign operators are required to first sell the capacity to India’s domestic satellite operator, the ISRO, which resells the same to the DTH customers and maintains ownership of the customers.

A similar situation prevails in China the report noted, adding that the USTR “will encourage these countries to consider changes to their respective frameworks”.

On data encryption requirement for the telecom equipment, the US trade office would ask India to devise a policy which does not deviate from “commonly accepted or best practices”.

The report said the US concerns are in the wake of apprehensions over India’s stringent and burdensome encryption requirements.

“The USTR will continue to engage India to seek ways to ensure US telecommunication companies can effectively protect information, while also respecting security concerns of the Indian government,” it said.

Source: The Hindu Business Line