Aug 10, 2017

700 MHz frequency charge against president is false Featured

There is no truth to reports in certain media that the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission frequencies have been given to various institutions in an improper manner, said a top official at the President’s Media Unit.

The reports referred to by the official are based on a statement issued by convener of Democrats for Anti-Corruption Sekara Bandhunatha.

That report questioned as to why no investigation was taking place into a more than Rs. three billion loss to the state due to the president’s having given eight frequencies to a certain media institution without tender calling.

The official responded by pointing out that the digitalized television frequencies are yet to be released to the market.

According to him, UHF channels 49 to 62 are included in the 700 MHz (694-806) frequencies range recommended for the mobile broadband project.

At present, these channels are being used for Analog TV, and have been given effective until only the day digitalized TV project is launched in Sri Lanka.

TRN taken to court over illegal use

Meanwhile, Television and Radio Network is facing separate court cases in Colombo and Jaffna over its use of several frequencies illegally for digitalized telecasts.

The TRC has never called for tenders or auctioned frequencies for TV channels.

Transparency followed at all times

By gazette notification 1104/4 of 01 November 1997, the TRC spells out the annual charges, and later on, the budget proposed double of that amount as the frequency emission equipment charges.

The TRC is at present working to digitalize television, after which it will supply the 70 MHz frequency for mobile broadband service providers.

From 2015 to date, the TRC has followed the procedures since its inception, and transparency has been followed at all times.