Kumari Palany & Co

Huge relief for cable & DTH subscribers across India now - New framework by TRAI to make the services cheaper!!

Posted on: 10/Jul/2024 9:08:45 AM
Amendments to the Regulatory framework for Broadcasting and Cable Services!!

The cable TV and DTH bills have been increasing and many subscribers across India have been finding it difficult. In this scenario, TRAI or Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended that they make STB or set top boxes interoperable.  By this measure, the consumers would be able to switch from one operator to another without changing their set top boxes.

Information gathered is that TRAI has removed NCF or network capacity fee that service providers charge the consumers. That is Rs 130 for 200 channels and Rs 160 for more than 200 channels. The service providers have been given the option to charge less in the name of competitive spirit and regional issues etc.

To make it market driven and equitable, ceilings of Rs 130 for 200 channels and Rs 160 for more than 200 channels have been removed on NCF and kept under forbearance. Based on the number of channels, different regions, different customer classes etc, the service providers might charge different NCF now. It is important to note that for the sake of transparency all such charges must be compulsorily published by the service providers and communicated to the consumers besides reporting to TRAI.

For many years, the cable operators and DTH operators have been resisting the interoperability of STB`s due to technological changes and due to proprietary software problems etc. This could change in the future as TRAI has now mentioned that it is desirable.

Private DPOs (cable and DTH operators) might be directed by the Information and Broadcasting ministry to adopt and implement interoperable STB`s. This was as per TRAI.

It is learnt that TRAI has allowed DTH and cable operators (who face tough competition from OTT like Amazon prime and Netflix etc) to allow discounts up to 45% while forming their bouquets for the sake of flexibility and offer attractive deals to the customers. Previously, this discount was just 15% is known.

Earlier, charges for services such as installation, activation, visiting, relocation and temporary suspension etc were prescribed under regulation and now these have been kept under forbearance.

Prasar Bharti was asked by TRAI to take steps to convert DD free dish platform from a non- addressable system to an addressable system that has been encrypted. By this, the quality of the v viewing experience would become better. In addition, unauthorised re-transmission of TV channels would be prevented.

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