Friday, August 04, 2006

CBNSat Seal Removed - The Island "Financial Review" 4th Aug 2006

LBN Seeks court approval today to start maintenance and test tranmission

Supreme Court yesterday gave the verdict for CBNSat to maintain its transmission equipment and to start test transmissions, which was sealed for almost one and ahalf months (since June 23).

CBNSat which is a BOI company was operating a satellite television service on a license issued by the Minister of Mass Communication in 2003 and is considered as an EGO with reference to the TRC website was sealed suspection transmitting LTTE pro television programmes were being aired. As of June 2006 CBNSat catered to 20,000 customers with 300 employees.

CBNSat Chief Executive Officer Muhunthan Canagey told The Island Financial Review that company is looking forward to obtain license before August 23, 2006 and to commence its commercial transmission. "If they want us to obtain any more license we are willing go for it. But have no plans of putting the increased cost burden on the shoulders of our subscribers. However, with the new license in place we will be bound to a pay a cess of 0.3% from our turnover. We need to thank our customers who were waiting patiently to see the services started and the financial institutions in recovering their funds." Canagey said.

CBNSat Manaer Legal Ms. Dilani Nanadasiri explaining thay the operations aspect stated that TRC or any other competent authority is welcome to monitor transmissions. "We would welcome authorities to monitor our services onm a regular basis to make sure no prop LTTE programmes are being telecast," she said.

Meanwhile LBN which is a cable tv operator has instituted legal remedies to maintain its equipment and the cable network laid within the Colombo Metropolitan and suburbs .

LBN which catered to 10,500 subscribers was also shutdown in early June and 140 employees on its payroll. "We will seek legal remedy with regards to this license issue and will continue to cater to our valued customers. We have no plans to revise prices though we will go for fresh licenses which are costly," said LBN Shirantha Herath.

According to industry cources, satellite television will be subjected to an annual cess fes based on 0.3% of total sales subject to a minimum of Rs 500,000/=. The licensee will not be permitted to establish its own telecommunications links, other than access to satellites to connect the systems to other compatible licensed systems.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

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