TRAI recommends 50% cut in Captive VSAT license fee

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended entry fee for Captive VSAT license may be reduced by 50% i.e. from Rs. 30 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh and FBG equivalent to license fees for two quarters may be charged from captive VSAT licensee.

The authority recommends doing away with levy of separate licence fee for 2nd hub for Captive VSAT may be done away with. Present annual license fee at Rs. 10,000 per VSAT terminal, as being charged presently for VSAT terminals connected to first hub, may be maintained for both the first and the second hub and without levy of any minimum licence fee.

According to TRAI, the royalty charge for Captive VSAT terminals may be calculated in line with the formula given in DoT circular dated 22nd March 2012. In the formula for calculation of royalty charge, annual royalty factor needs to be multiplied by bandwidth factor and number of carriers assigned only.

There is also no justification for charging additional 25% amount as reuse factor for number of VSATs more than the number of carriers. These charges may be eliminated for calculation of royalty charges. DoT may issue necessary clarification with respect to royalty charges.

The Authority recommends Spectrum Usage Charges and Presumptive Adjusted Gross Revenue for Internet Service Providers and Commercial Very Small Aperture Terminal Service Providers on streamlining the processes shall apply to Captive VSAT licensees too.

Further, in case delay in allotment of corresponding ground segment frequency by WPC extends beyond 3 months from the date of allotment of space segment by DoS, the space segment charges payable to DoS may be borne by DoT till the time allocations/clearances by WPC/DoT/NOCC are completed.

No late fee may be charged from the licensee in case there is no pendency of submission of requisite documents, fee etc. by the licensee and delay in allocation/approval is due to licensor’s internal matters.

Procedure for augmentation of bandwidth may be at par with those of Commercial VSAT, NLD, ILD licensees. Augmentation should be cleared at the level of DoT/ WPC only (not at the level of Apex Committee). Validity of WOL for Captive VSAT licensee may be for a period of 5 years at a time, instead of annual at present subject to validity of the license.

Period of agreement with DoS for space segment may be for minimum three years unless licensee desires for shorter duration and subject to validity of license. The authority recommends that the restriction/cap of 512 Kbps/2 Mbps per VSAT as maximum data rates for Captive VSAT may be revised upwardly and DoT/TEC may revise its specifications accordingly.

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