The governments of Indonesia and Malaysia are to meet next month to help settle a licensing problem faced by Malaysian cable TV provider, ASTRO All Asia Networks Plc. ASTRO’s entry to Indonesia’s pay TV business via Direct Vision has sparked complaints from local competitors because of its use of a foreign satellite, the Jakarta Post reports. They argued that this is against the Indonesian Satellite Communications Law, which prohibits the use of foreign satellites in Indonesia unless reciprocal rights were accorded to Indonesian satellites.
ASTRO, which provides 46 local and international channels, uses Malaysia’s Measat-2 satellite. Direct Vision argued that its operation does not violate the law as Indonesian satellites have been relaying signals to Malaysia since 1980.
Riza Primadi, Senior Vice President for News and Current Affairs at PT Direct Vision, said: “There are a lot of local firms using foreign satellites that have not registered with the government. These companies do not pay tax or broadcasting royalties. Since the very start of our operations, we have frankly admitted that we are using a foreign satellite. And we always pay our taxes.”
“Officials from the telecommunications authorities of the two countries will meet on 3 and 4 May to help settle the problem, which has resulted in a lack of legal certainty for investors,” Mr Primadi said.
(Source: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)