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TDSAT refuses stay on non-CAS areas tariff order implementation

16-January-2008
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TDSAT refuses stay on non-CAS areas tariff order implementation

Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has refused to grant a stay on an appeal challenging the implementation of the October 4, 2007 tariff order on a la carte pricing for non-CAS areas. The next hearing on the case has been scheduled for March 11, 2008.

TDSAT had earlier dismissed the plea of broadcasters to stay the a la carte tariff order for non-CAS areas.

The regulation of October 4, 2007 by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) directs broadcasters to provide their channels on a pick-and-choose basis and had gathered the wrath of leading broadcasters. Broadcasters had challenged TRAI’s guidelines on pricing of cable TV charges in non-CAS areas before TDSAT.

TDSAT, which heard the pleas filed by Star India and Zee Turner on January 15, stated that the said regulation was in public interest. TDSAT also refused to entertain a demand made by broadcasters that multiple system operators (MSOs) must provide names and addresses of their subscribers.

The broadcasters had contended that there was no addressability mechanism to detect whether consumers were availing the benefit on the a la carte basis or not. According to TDSAT’s order, MSOs will have to ensure that the benefits of broadcasters giving channels through a la carte must reach the consumers.

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