The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has notified amendments to the Interconnection Regulations applicable for Digital Addressable Systems (DAS) and tariff order applicable for addressable systems.
The amendments in the tariff order modify the twin conditions that regulate the a la carte rate of channels vis-à-vis the bouquet rates at retail levee, protecting the interests of the subscribers. It also clarifies the position that subscribers can either opt for channels on a la carte basis or bouquet or a combination of both, as per their choice.
Considering the fact that adequate provisions/ safeguards are already available in the Interconnection Regulations applicable for DAS, certain provisions have been omitted from these regulations. These pertain to prescription of a minimum channel carrying capacity of 500 channels for the MSOs and prohibition regarding charging of placement fee by the MSOs. A provision has been added to specifically bring in clarity that the MSOs cannot seek a channel from the broadcaster and seek carriage fee at the same time.
The intention of the Authority for prescribing the twin conditions is basically to link the a la carte rate of channels to the bouquet rates in order to ensure effective choice to the consumer. Prescription of these conditions, however, does not intend to take away the freedom of the platform operators to price and package their offerings at the retail level.