TRC suspends LBN cable TV operations

By Marisa de Silva

Another private satellite TV station was on Friday ordered to suspend operations pending investigations as to whether it had a valid licence to operate, Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (SLTRC) Director General Kanchana Ratwatte said.

The sudden suspension of operations of LBN (Pvt) Ltd has inconvenienced thousands of viewers mainly those watching the live coverage of the football world cup now being played in Germany.

Earlier the private satellite television station CBN (Pvt) Ltd head office in Kotahena was sealed by the CID and its action has been challenged in court.

Court has ordered that a report on the operations of CBN Sat be submitted to court when the case comes up for hearing on Monday.

Mr. Ratwatte told The Sunday Times that although CBN Sat has both a Vendor and an External Gateway licence for International Telecommunications issued to its partner company SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd., these licences were limited to telecommunication and not for video satellite operation.

But, CBN (Pvt) Ltd. claimed the two companies were jointly operating since May last year and their operations were not illegal.

Mr. Ratwatte said LBN Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., too had no licence to operate.

Not having an appropriate licence to transmit satellite television is a direct violation of Section 17 (1) of the Telecommunications Act No. 25 of 1991.

LBN (Pvt) Ltd was not available for comment.


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