Business Times

TRC to share profit on satellite

The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), having cancelled an earlier plan to set up a satellite with a British firm, is now exploring fresh options in which the operation of the proposed new satellite will be on a profit-sharing basis.

“We’re open to a profit-sharing arrangement with a satellite operator,” Anusha Pelpita, TRC Chairman told the Business Times. He said that the TRC is interested in providing the space slots while a satellite operator can help orbit the satellite. “This is what we are most interested in. but at the same time we are also carrying out a study to explore the feasibility of sending our own satellite,” he said.

The TRC decided not to proceed with the joint venture with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the British firm which was commissioned to set up the Sri Lanka Space Communications Company last year, due to the high costs involved. “To set up the satellite, there’s a cost of US$ 20 million. After sending it into orbit it is US$ 160 to US$ 180 million per annum, which is not feasible,” he said.

Meanwhile some broadband operators are raising concerns about the minimum standard that TRC plans to implement within this month, saying that it’s impossible to adhere to such criteria as they’ll have to charge the customers more, but the regulator is adamant.

“Most operators agreed to this,” Mr. Pelpita said. He said the TRC is in the process of preparing a standard for 70%-85% minimum speed for a day. Mr. Pelpita added that the minimum standard for the Broadband speed will be out before January 1.

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