TRAI Tariff Order: Supreme Court to pronounce verdict after Dussehra

After several adjournments, the arguments finally concluded on October 11. The apex court has reserved its order.

TRAI

After several adjournments, the arguments in the case between TRAI and Star India on tariff order and interconnection regulation finally concluded in Supreme Court on October 11. The apex court Bench heard the arguments and reserved its order. The Bench is expected to announce the verdict after Dussehra.

Though, following the August 31 deadline set by TRAI for the implementation of the order, most major broadcasters have already published their Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) along with the Interconnection Agreement. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) was the first broadcaster that declared their ROI before the expiry of the deadline. Later, other big broadcasters like Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited, TV18 Broadcast Limited, Disney India, Turner International and Sun TV Network also declared their RIOs.

The RIO published by TV18 Broadcast Ltd reads, “This RIO shall be effective for the term commencing from 29-December-2018 (i.e., at the end of 180 days from the date of TRAI’s press release dated 3-July-2018, read with TRAI’s notifications dated 3-March-2017),”

Also, Zee, in line with the tariff order, announced multiple bouquets catering to consumers of different languages across India. All Zee channels will be available on a-la-carte basis, as required by the regulations, the broadcaster had said. However, Star India, which is one of the petitioners against TRAI tariff and interconnect order, is yet to file its RIO.

TRAI implemented the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations 2017 on July 3, 2018 after it was upheld by the Madras High Court with an exception. While bringing the order into effect , the TRAI had prescribed timelines for the stakeholders.

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