The industry has accepted Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) tariff order dated April 30, 2012 to a large extent. The only area of concern is carriage fee, which broadcasters were hoping to be eradicated completely. However, TRAI Chairman JS Sarma stated that the regulation on carriage fee has been framed after factoring all feedback that was received on the subject.
In a conversation with exchange4media, Sarma said, “We have paid attention to, and factored, all feedback we had received on carriage fee. We are now not looking to make any change in the regulation. Please understand these are not recommendations, these are regulations and have been framed after a lot of thought.”
Will TRAI consider rationalising carriage fee or putting a cap on it? “Let us take a look at it, when the time comes. We don’t know the future of carriage fee and what it will shape up to be post digitisation. Why talk about it right now? If carriage fee continues to be detrimental and hinders the growth of the industry, we will definitely intervene and fix a cap if that is what is needed at the time,” Sarma replied.
Sarma asserted once again that he sees no reason why the digitisation deadlines, beginning with June 30, 2012 for the four metros, will not be met.