18.07.97 -- Even More
service is provided free of charge for personal use. It may be used
and redistributed for non-commercial purposes only, provided the
following notice is included:
© Copyright by Sat-ND,
send contributions and comments regarding Sat-ND to
Klanowski, email: pck@LyNet.De
is sponsored by TELE-satellite International
mailing lists: http://www.TELE-satellit.com/
- LAW &
to Open U.S. Satellite Market
Never-Ending Story of India's Media Law
Open U.S. Satellite Market
- The U.S. Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed rules that would make
it easier for foreign owned satellite companies to provide
telecommunication service in the USA.
- Currently, satellite
companies licensed in countries that belong to the World Trade
Organisation (WTO) have to undergo a "competitive
opportunities" test that examines whether U.S. companies have
similar economic opportunities in the foreign carrier's country. The
new FCC proposals, which are the first results of the WTO agreement
reached in February, would eliminate the need for this test. This
applies, however, just to the 130 WTO countries -- Russia and China
are, for instance, not members of the organisation.
- The final rules are
expected to be adopted in November. According to the FCC proposals,
the deregulation includes all kinds of satellite-based
telecommunications services, even direct-to-home TV and all those
trendyphone and data services. FCC Chairman Reed Hundt expects the
changes to lower prices and increase choices for U.S. consumers.
Never-Ending Story of India's Media Law
- Today, the state
monopoly on satellite usage and ownership in India has ended.
Private companies will be allowed to use transponders on state-owned
satellites or even set up their own commercial communications
satellite systems. In theory, that is.
- According to a
government statement, "Operations from Indian soil will be
allowed with both Indian and foreign satellites in accordance with
norms and conditions to be evolved but Indian satellites will be
accorded preferential treatment."
- So, everything settled
now? Not at all. "With this far-reaching decision of the
cabinet, in the next few months the government will work out the
norms and conditions concerning the various aspects of the policy
for its effective implementation."
- Of course, "It is
expected that the enunciation [statement] of the policy framework
will lead to the development of a healthy and thriving
communications satellite and ground equipment industry as well as
satellite communications service industry in India."
- It's not quite clear
to me what the government statement actually means. The situation
was as follows: After years of debate, India's ruling centre-left
coalition put a broadcasting bill before parliament last May. A
pretty complicated bill, however, that irritated foreign and
domestic media companies.
- Separate licenses will
be issued for each sector of the broadcast industry, i.e.
terrestrial broadcasters, local cable channels, satellite
broadcasters on cable networks, and direct-to-home (DTH) satellite
services. While foreign companies may hold up to 49 percent in
satellite ventures, they're completely barred from terrestrial TV.
In addition, there will be ''cross-service'' curbs, allowing
companies to hold just licenses only in one broadcast sectors.
- That means, as an
example, that Rupert Murdoch now has to choose. He may continue to
set up his planned US$500-million DTH pay-TV service or his
free-to-air Star TV channels that are carried on cable networks.
Other foreign broadcasters are also available via cable or
satellite, broadcasting from other countries. However, state
broadcaster Doordarshan still has a 70 percent market reach, cashing
in US$209 million of total adverts expenditure of US$321 million.
- India has 50 million
TV households, 18 million of which had some access to satellite
television. Industry officials expect a big future for Indian TV
owing to the country's high economic growth.
- Yet another
Timer-Warner site has launched on the WWW, offering content from
CNN; its sports cable network CNN/SI,Sports Illustrated and Turner
- What's the difference
between this site and others such as ESPN Sports Zone and CBS
SportsLine? According to Steve Zales, general manager of CNN/SI
Interactive, the site will provide "much more of an
international focus." He added that Time Warner is making "a
major financial investment" in it. Nonetheless, it's free.
Zales: "The types of content you have to pay for at the other
sites will be in a free area."
- Among the promised
offerings are archival articles and photos, up-to-the-minute scores
and a section that includes material from SI Women/Sport. The site
will initially offer 100,000 pages of content. [Just compare that to
my four or five ;-] There's no word yet on any possible on-line
coverage of the proposed boxing fight Turner v/s Murdoch, though.
- The world of
television viewing grew brighter today, claims RCA in a press
release, with the introduction of the RCA Network Computer -- a
small, affordable set-top product that transforms the family TV into
a multimedia machine delivering personalized entertainment and
interactive services at the touch of a button.
- "The RCA Network
Computer empowers the family TV with exciting new capabilities like
Internet access and interactive services such as communicating by
E-mail, on-line shopping, and electronic banking," said Thomson
Consumer Electronics' Louis E. Lenzi, Vice President-Multimedia
Products & Services. "It also offers promise as an aid in
household organizing, homework preparation, and research
- That seems to prove
that the French company is not too familiar with U.S. viewing habits
which are determined by the fact that households that usually have
at least one TV set per person. Family viewing? Ridiculous. Even
children often have TV sets in their sleeping rooms.
- Okay, companies. When
will you finally realise that the average couch potato does not want
your fancy Internet stuff but just wants to get entertained, moving
just her or his thumb to flip through 500 channels instead of
interactively communicating with anybody?
- But no, RCA is still
seeing pies in the sky. The two boxes introduced, available at ann
estimated retails price of US$ 349 and 299 respectively, "will
change the way consumers spend leisure time and the way they
accomplish their daily tasks," expects Monsieur Lenzi.
Technical details:based on Oracle Corp. subsidiary Network Computer
Inc. Technology; easily connected to a standard colour TV; and
Thomson is aligned with NetChannel Inc. to add even more
entertainment value to the NC product.
- "As this product
evolves," said Lenzi, "we envision an entire family of
products that merge the capability for Internet access with the
entertainment values of such products as the Digital Satellite
System and the Digital Video Disc player. Movies, sports, and
entertainment channels will be available along with Internet
activities, all from a single consumer-friendly device linked to the
- Rubbish with a big
- Some readers wrote in
to complain about the HTML formatting, stating that they prefer text
in Times New Roman. Well, funnily enough, the original document used
only Times New Roman for text. For unknown reasons, Microsoft
Internet Mail does not convert HTML correctly when copied and pasted
from Word 97. It looks good when received by Microsoft Internet
Mail, but it's more or less crap when received by Netscape products
(shudder.) It works the other way round, though: Today, I received
an HTML message from somebody who used Netscape -- it just produced
a blank page when read by Microsoft Internet Mail.
- As I said yesterday,
I'm now willing to give Star Office 4.0 a try. It is actually the
most innovative office suite around, but it unfortunately still
suffers from some teething problems.
07/97 by Peter C. Klanowski,
pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe, send Email to
Majordomo@tags1.dn.net (not to
me, please) and include the line
- in the
body of your message.
Or have a look at:
[Other mailing lists]