Cable Operators Welfare Federation to discuss NTO 2.0 with TRAI on Feb 13

The federation's objective is to discuss issues related to revised tariff regime of TRAI, against whom the IBF has already filed a writ petition

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Feb 11, 2020 11:49 AM

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TRAI

The Cable Operators Welfare Federation (COWF) India will meet the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 13 February. The meeting has been planned with the intention of discussing the issues regarding the revised tariff regime NTO 2.0 for which Indian Broadcasting Federation has already filed a writ petition against TRAI in the Bombay High Court. The case will be heard on 12 February.    

The federation had raised six issues with respect to NTO 2.0 and has expressed the need to review and redefine interconnection agreement between MSO and LCO, which has not been touched upon anywhere in both the NTO exercises.

In the letter to TRAI, the operators wrote: “The stale and irrelevant SIA continues to be leveraged by the MSOs even after expiry. MSOs have ignored the fact that content cost is ascertainable to the last Rupee per Subscriber and billable accordingly. MSO share under DAS was inclusive of content cost that has now turned a pass through item extract higher share via Prepaid terms imposed on LCOs. We, therefore, reiterate our request for discontinuation of SIA and revision to MIA with immediate effect.”

Regarding the network capacity fee (NCF), the federation stated, “ As we understand, NCF is to cover costs towards both Network (LCOs) and Capacity (MSO Head-end). However, neither has any costing analysis been carried out nor weightage allocated to both components. The MSOs now have assured Carriage Fee income upto Rs 4.00Lac PM per Channel and undisclosed higher income from Placement Fees. With 200 Channels in Basic Tier, the Non-Subscriber income to a Head-end thus can be anywhere from Rs 24 Crore (Rs 1.00Lac PM/Channel) to Rs 96 Crore. This is more than adequate to cover their Support costs yet the MSOs are cannibalising the weaker LCOs income share overlooking that LCOs is entirely dependent on Subscriber revenues.”

Other issues include redefining revenues for the purpose of MSO-LCO sharing, transparency and involvement, steps to resolve the MSO-LCO disputes in quick time and at state levels, if not local level itself and to stipulate that content on OTT should be priced at same tariff as on DPO Networks and made available for the asking on identical, equitable terms to all players. 

COWF urged TRAI to ensure LCO survival and being treated as a critical component of the value chain. Needless to mention that unviable LCO will result in disruption, if not the end of wireline Services that are better and cheaper than wireless (DTH). 

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