Friday, August 04, 2006

CBNSat Seal Removed - The Island "Financial Review" 4th Aug 2006

LBN Seeks court approval today to start maintenance and test tranmission

Supreme Court yesterday gave the verdict for CBNSat to maintain its transmission equipment and to start test transmissions, which was sealed for almost one and ahalf months (since June 23).

CBNSat which is a BOI company was operating a satellite television service on a license issued by the Minister of Mass Communication in 2003 and is considered as an EGO with reference to the TRC website was sealed suspection transmitting LTTE pro television programmes were being aired. As of June 2006 CBNSat catered to 20,000 customers with 300 employees.

CBNSat Chief Executive Officer Muhunthan Canagey told The Island Financial Review that company is looking forward to obtain license before August 23, 2006 and to commence its commercial transmission. "If they want us to obtain any more license we are willing go for it. But have no plans of putting the increased cost burden on the shoulders of our subscribers. However, with the new license in place we will be bound to a pay a cess of 0.3% from our turnover. We need to thank our customers who were waiting patiently to see the services started and the financial institutions in recovering their funds." Canagey said.

CBNSat Manaer Legal Ms. Dilani Nanadasiri explaining thay the operations aspect stated that TRC or any other competent authority is welcome to monitor transmissions. "We would welcome authorities to monitor our services onm a regular basis to make sure no prop LTTE programmes are being telecast," she said.

Meanwhile LBN which is a cable tv operator has instituted legal remedies to maintain its equipment and the cable network laid within the Colombo Metropolitan and suburbs .

LBN which catered to 10,500 subscribers was also shutdown in early June and 140 employees on its payroll. "We will seek legal remedy with regards to this license issue and will continue to cater to our valued customers. We have no plans to revise prices though we will go for fresh licenses which are costly," said LBN Shirantha Herath.

According to industry cources, satellite television will be subjected to an annual cess fes based on 0.3% of total sales subject to a minimum of Rs 500,000/=. The licensee will not be permitted to establish its own telecommunications links, other than access to satellites to connect the systems to other compatible licensed systems.

By Ashwin Hemmathagama


jesika said...

"The licensee will not be permitted to establish its own telecommunications links, other than access to satellites to connect the systems to other compatible licensed systems."

Is this means we can't watch local channels through CBNsat?

Chathuranga said...

This is great news... However I've turned into a pessimist looking back at the past events where they say something and do something else. I will remain patiently with crossed fingers. But I sincerely hope they can resume services soon. CBN is a great company that has a lot of potential.

A Message to the Admins: I think there’s a small mistake in your post, If I’m not mistaken, the service stopped on 6/6/6 (talk about the best day to screw someone up)

Chathuranga said...

Jesika, With all do respect to you, Who'd wanna watch local BS anywayz? I'm sure most would agree that we got CBN or whatever Cable channel in the first place to escape from our local programmming.

TV & Radio Sri Lanka said...

The mistake is not in our post but in the original artice in The Island. We corrected the mistake in a previous article by highlighting the mistake as a note from us. However we could not do the same here.

The mistake is beyond our control. However we apologise for not mentioning it below the article.

jesika said...

No Chathuranga!

I bought a NTSC only tv, because i can use it to watch Local channels through CBN.
So please can someone tell me the meaning of "The licensee will not be permitted to establish its own telecommunications links, other than access to satellites to connect the systems to other compatible licensed systems."

Vanatha Fella said...

Jesika, the answer is in the same statement itself. (I am not a legal expert though)

1. The licensee will not be permitted to establish its own telecommunications links - may mean no telephone and fax and the like are not allowed.
2. other than access to satellites to connect the systems to other compatible licensed systems - may mean any TV channel (local/foreign) is allowed since they are compatible services.

Dude said...

Well Vanatha! Are you saying that CBNSat cannot do voice transmission and also services like Distance Learning, etc.

However now that the TRC says that the EGO license is for Voice calls only. Probably CBNSat can carry out these functions too since they have both licenses. However CBNSat should become a media port for this region.

It is good for Sri Lanka as a whole.

Vanatha Fella said...

Dude, I am refering to the DTH related license in which only you get the statement which Jesika was quoting.

In a nutshell SonicNet has EGO license and CBNSat has DTH (i am doubtfull as to who should have it) related license. They will have to draw up clear boundaries as to what company selling what service.

CBNSat becoming a media portal (if they are allowed) to the nation will be a good thing for everybody.

Lightning_Struck_Tower said...

SonicNet has an EGO and CBNsat has a vendor licence. Sonicnet can tansmit data in and out of srilanka and CBNsat can sell equipment. Thats the idea i got after reading the newsletter they sent.

Vanatha Fella said...

I think my previous post's a part should be corrected as follows

"In a nutshell SonicNet has EGO license and CBNSat is going to have DTH (i am doubtfull as to who should have it) related license."

Lightning_Struck_Tower, you are right on what right now CBNSat is having (as per their news letter and public domain information).

ozzie said...

lets bugger CBN to get star world!

cbnsatcustomer said...

CBNSat hails court ruling as a victory for freedom of expression

By Susitha R. Fernando

Following the court ruling to end the controversial sealing of CBN Sat, satellite TV station, company’s Chief Executive Officer said that people should have the right to decide what they should see rather than any one else taking decision on behalf of them.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror following last Thursday’s court’s ruling the CEO, Mhanthan Canagey said that the people have the right to educate themselves and see what is happening around them.

“These are international channels which are educative and informative and had there been chances for the people in the coastal line to see these channels, greater disaster could have been averted from the disastrous Tsunami waves in 2004,” Mr. Canagey said.

“The state had been misguided and now the names of those responsible had been revealed. It is the duty of the law enforcement authority to take necessary action and not to trust these people hereafter,” he said.

“If necessary action was not taken the unethical practices will continue,” he addled.

Mr. Canagey also said that the whole issue was due to the false allegations by the government institutions which lacked technological facilities.

“Our effort to explain the technology to the relevant authority too failed,” he added.

Ending the two months long sealing of the channel, last Thursday, Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva directed a compromise settlement by consent of all parties to expedite the operation of the CBN Sat transmission with safeguards being introduced to monitor it.

“At the court’s hearing the Chief Justice ordered the relevant authorities to take the necessary measures to remove the seals from the equipment for maintaining and servicing purposes,” he said.

The court allowed to inspect and service the equipment and if necessary to carry out a test transmission of the SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd which were seized and sealed on last June 6.

Filing the application in the Supreme Court the satellite TV station cited Chief Inspector U. K. Mahindadasa, Superintendent of Police A.R.Vaidyalankara and Sub Inspector L.Tilak Bandara all of Police Commercial Crime Unit –II as respondents. It had complained that the police officers had wrongfully, unlawfully or without any right thereto sealed and seized its equipment and prevented the transmission being continued. This was allegedly done under the guise of a Magistrate’s order which was but only a search warrant. CBN Sat also asked court to grant compensation of Rs 100 million for the damage caused.

“We sincerely thank over 20,000 of our customers who had been patient all this time and the financial institutions which supported us,”.

“With all complications and allegations being sorted out, things seem to be going the way of CBNSat, and its subscribers can once again enjoy an array of entertainment as well as infotainment.

We are least interested in what happened and what we are focusing on is taking the country forward with this new technology,”.