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New Satellite Radio Policy Doubles Entry Fee; Commercials Barred; Online Radio?

The information and broadcasting ministry has finally framed a draft of the much-delayed new satellite radio policy. It incorporates  TRAI's recommendations given in June 2008 and comprehensively covers topics such as eligibility criteria for applications, period of license, entry fee, annual license fee, bank guarantee, basic conditions & obligations, technical standards, monitoring, inspection, value added services, terrestrial repeaters, termination of license, Wireless Planning and Co-ordination department’s license, as well as disputes and jurisdiction. The new satellite policy has been in limbo for a year now and does not appear to be introducing any significant changes. There are just a handful of satellite radio providers - Worldspace, Sirius, XM, Muzak, etc. The policy should have attempted to encourage more ventures as well as attract the existing global ones, but instead it has doubled the entry fees and introduced more red tapism. Also read about possible entry strategies for satellite radio companies (not updated) here. We've been trying to locate a copy of the guidelines on the Ministry of Information & Broadcastings website, but to no avail. HindustanTimes, which has a copy, reports on guidelines that are similar to those proposed by the TRAI. We'll update when we have more. The TRAI guidelines were as follows: Licenses, Fees & The Roll Out Obligation For the first time, a license for registration of radio channels offered by the satellite radio provider will be introduced. Applicants will receive two licenses: one for entry and setting up the network; and another for registering the radio channels to…

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