TRAI directs service providers to implement new regulatory framework

TRAI has been monitoring the progress in regards to preparedness of the service providers in capturing the options exercised by the consumers for broadcasting & cable services

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Jan 25, 2019 9:07 AM Updated: Jan 25, 2019 9:07 AM
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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in March, 2017, notified the new regulatory framework for Broadcasting and Cable services, comprising of the Telecommunication Services Tariff Order 2017, Telecommunication Services Interconnection Regulations 2017 and Telecommunication Services Standards of Quality of Service and Subscriber Protection Regulations 2017. 

The framework was duly notified through a press release dated July 3, 2018 prescribing implementation schedule. Accordingly, all the timelines in the above-mentioned framework commenced from July 3, 2018. As per the implementation schedule, all the service providers were required to complete all activities for migration to new framework by December 28, 2018. However, to ensure a smooth migration and consumer convenience in exercising their options, the authority provided time until January 31, 2019.

The authority has been monitoring the progress in regards to preparedness of the service providers in capturing the options exercised by the consumers. It has noted that most of the service providers have provided the consumer care channel on TV Channel Number 999, consumer corner on their website, started Call Centre, released mobile apps and updated EPG displaying the MRP of each channel. They have also made arrangements to receive options of subscribers using various other methods such as personal contacts, SMS blast response, Cable TV Operators, etc.

TRAI has launched a web portal https://channeltariff.trai.gov.in containing Frequently Asked Questions answering queries such as rates of all the pay TV channels on a-la-carte and the bouquets of pay channels offered by the broadcasters, etc. Its web portal too has information to help consumers select the channels of their choice and estimate their monthly bill. Facility has also been provided to take a print out of the TV channels selected or download the file so that the same can be sent to the TV Service Provider to facilitate exercising of the subscriber option. These online portals have received quite a positive feedback with more than 3.5 crore hits. Approximately 40 per cent of the consumers have already exercised their options. 

The authority also reiterates that there has been no talks and reasons to consider any extension of the time period for obtaining consumer choices in view of the significant momentum in obtaining the choices and the assurances of all the service providers. The subscribers who exercise their option within the prescribed time, will be migrated from February 1, 2019. 

It has been noted by the authority that some Multi Systems Operators (MSOs) in far-flung areas and smaller towns are not implementing the new regulatory framework in letter and spirit. The authority reiterates that every Distribution Platform Owner (DPO) and the Broadcaster must implement the regulatory framework as per the press release dated July 3, 2018. The authority has issued an appropriate direction to all the DPOs (MSO/DTH/HITS/IPTV operators) and broadcasters.

TRAI has assured all the subscribers that all efforts are being made to ensure that there is no inconvenience or any disruption of TV services due to the migration to the new regulatory regime.

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