I have never been able to understand the satellite fixation some of the decision makers in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have. But Myanmar’s plans for a geostationary satellite for broadcasting makes sense. Myanmar has a population density that is very low (76 people per sq. km, compared with 1,103 for Bangladesh and 309 for Sri Lanka) and it is a vast country (676,577 sq km v 143,998 sq km in Bangladesh and 65,610 sq km in Sri Lanka). A national broadcast satellite may make sense, though they should always compare the costs against the alternative of using channels on regional satellites.
But more important is the law. If all goes well, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka will have new broadcast laws in place soon. Good if there is mutual learning.
The government is nearing the completion of a new broadcasting law aiming to open up the nation’s media industry and encourage distribution of new services.
In the run-up to the second CommuniCast Myanmar, which will take place in November and include the second Myanmar Satellite Forum, Myanmar’s deputy ICT minister H.E U Thuang Tin said the government aims to liberalize the broadcasting sector the same as it did with telecom.
“The broadcasting industry is moving very fast. From an economic, commercial, national prestige and national security point of view, everything points towards satellite and the demand is increasing,” he said.