The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today issued tariff order for commercial interoperability of Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) offered by the Direct-to-Home (DTH) operators to their subscribers.
The tariff order states that the transparent and upfront declaration of installation and activation charges by DTH operates which shall not exceed Rs.450. There also has to be a transparent price declaration of all types of CPEs by the DTH operators to enable the subscriber to make an informed choice says the order. It further directs DTH operators to offer a purchase scheme called Standard Scheme for all types of CPEs on a standalone basis.
The DTH operators can offer additional schemes such as bundling schemes and rentals schemes. In the rental schemes DTH operators can charge a specified one-time interest free refundable security deposit, installation and activation charges from the subscriber during enrolment followed by specified monthly rental charges. No repair or maintenance charges are permissible for such subscribers according to the tariff order.
It further mentions that DTH operators shall cater for free maintenance and repairs of CPEs for three years after installation or activation. In case of outright purchase and hire purchase schemes, DTH operators may levy visitation charges not exceeding Rs 250 per visit after the warranty period has elapsed.
Subscribers shall also have an option of buy-back or refund for CPEs in all the offered schemes including bundled schemes with an exception of rental schemes. In rental scheme, subscriber will get back the security deposit.
DTH operators may prescribe a lock-in period not exceeding six months for a subscriber to remain committed. Subscribers can surrender the CPE at any time subject to levy of certain charges that have been prescribed. They will also have to set up collection centres at every district headquarters to enable easy return of CPEs. Subscribers shall be provided with a toll-free no. for registration of request for the surrender of connection.
Subscribers shall have option of returning the CPE by paying a nominal collection charge of Rs.300 to the DTH operator or to return the CPE at the designated collection centre. The tariff order also states that no other charges by any other name other than those specified by it in the order can be levied on the subscribers by DTH operators.
DTH operators shall declare all current schemes on their websites while also publishing all charges for each scheme. Subscribers will have to be given details of the scheme opted by him. Finally it states that the DTH operators will be given a time of 60 days to align their business processes for compliance with the provisions of tariff order.