TRAI Tariff Order: SC adjourns hearing to Sept 11

TRAI implemented the tariff order and interconnection regulation on July 3

The Supreme Court will now hear the matter pertaining to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) tariff order and interconnection regulation on September 11. The apex court adjourned the petition today as the matter could not come up for hearing before lunch. And post lunch, a special bench was scheduled to conduct proceedings in the court.

Earlier on August 27, the court had deferred the matter to September 5.

The following parties have filed impleadment/intervention in the matter:

Impleadment

  • All India Digital Cable Federation - They have also filed counter affidavit and Star has also filed Rejoinder to its Counter.

  • All Local Cable Operators Association - They were not present before the Madras High Court

  • All Delhi Cable Operators Association - They were not present before the Madras High Court

  • Wall City Cable Operators Association - They were not present before the Madras High Court

  • All India Cable Operators Association - They were not present before the Madras High Court 

  • All India Cable TV and Broadband Operators - They were not present before the Madras High Court 

  • Fast Way Transmissions Pvt Ltd. - They were not present before the Madras High Court 

  • Sopan Foundation - It is claiming to represent the interest of the consumers. It was not present before the Madras High Court 

Intervention

  • Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) - The broadcasters representative body was also an intervenor before the Madras High Court

  • Dish TV India Ltd. - Its predecessor in interest (Videocon D2h Ltd.) was an intervenor before the Madras High Court 

  • News Nation Network Pvt. - Broadcaster of FTA channels. In was not present before the Madras High Court

On July 3, 2018, TRAI had implemented the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations 2017 after it was upheld by the Madras High Court with an exception. While bringing the order into effect on July 3, the TRAI had prescribed timelines for the stakeholders. The deadline for compliance was August 31, 2018.

Following the deadline, most of the major broadcasters have published their Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) along with the Interconnection Agreement. Big broadcasters, including Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited and TV18 Broadcast Limited, have declared their RIOs.

“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),” reads the RIO published by TV18 Broadcast Ltd.

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.

However, Star India, which is one of the petitioners against TRAI tariff and interconnect order, is yet to file its RIO.

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