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Department of Space failure to launch satellites forced DTH migration to foreign players: CAG

In a scathing report, the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG)of India has criticized the Department of Space(DoS) for failing to meet its target of making available satellites which were to provide 218 Ku band transponders used for mainly for Direct to Home (DTH) providers hence forcing them to use overseas facilities. According to the report, the DoS failed to provide satellite capacity on domestic satellites, with only three out of the planned nine satellites launched during the eleventh five year plan period. This was only 22% of the target. When it came to allocation of satellite capacity, the report also points out that Tata Sky was extended benefits that other DTH operators were not a part of. Notes from the report: Planning of satellite capacity The DoS was supposed to make available 218 Ku Band transponders through nine satellites of which only three satellites were realized and provided 48 Ku band transponders. The report also notes that the DoS was unable to unable to maintain the satellite capacity already used for DTH service due to technical problems. This led to a which led to a forced migration of commercial DTH users (Sun DTH, Airtel and Reliance) to foreign satellite systems. The satellite launch of GSAT 8 initially intended for DTH use was delayed by more than three years. When satellite capacity was eventually available, it was not immediately earmarked and capacity remained idle from July 2011 to December 2011. The satellite was finally allocated for non DTH use. The non-achievement of…

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