New Delhi, Jan. 13: The government has decided to allow very small aperture terminal (V-Sat) service providers to offer bandwidth speeds of up to 512 kilobits per second (kbps) as against 64 kbps at present.
V-Sats are antennas that use satellite to send and receive data and voice. It is a useful equipment in remote areas where telephone lines cannot be laid.
The move will directly benefit the newspaper industry and corporate houses that have offices spread across the country. While the cap on transmission speeds has been lifted, the government is also exploring the possibility of allowing interconnectivity with other networks as long as the closed user group concept is not violated.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has allowed interconnection with other networks for receive-only V-Sat operators. However, it has barred interconnection to other public telecom networks except the internet, which may be permitted for access to content on a case-to-case basis.
Sources in the Union communications ministry said: “The new licence policy under the National Telecom Policy 1999 had proposed to offer speeds of 512 kbps per V-Sat. However, this did not allow full exploitation of the technology and hardware. The issue was pending before us and the department of space; now we have decided to lift the cap.”
However, the demand of V-Sat operators to include them in the open sky policy has not been finalised yet.