Consumers will be able to get 100 standard definition channels at Rs 130 a month plus taxes, according to a new Tariff order issued today by the broadcasting sector regulator, TRAI. “The distribution of network capacity required for initial 100 Standard Definition (SD) channels can be availed by the subscriber by paying an amount not exceeding Rs 130, excluding taxes, per month to the distributor of TV channels,” TRAI said in a statement. The regulator said that no separate charges other than this Network Capacity Fee (NCF), is to be paid by the subscribers for opting Free-to-Air channels or bouquet of Free-to-Air channels.
It also said that additional capacity, beyond initial 100 channels capacity, can be availed by the subscriber in the slabs of 25 SD channels each, by paying an amount not exceeding Rs 20 (excluding taxes) per slab for a month.
However, a subscriber has to pay separate charges other than NCF for subscribing to pay channels or bouquet of pay channels, TRAI has laid down.
Every distributor of TV channels shall declare retail price of each channel and bouquet of pay channels to be paid by the subscriber.
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TRAI also has mandated that every distributor of TV channels shall offer all channels on its network on a-la-carte basis. Another feature of the order is that broadcasters will have to declare MRP per month of their a-la-carte pay channels for subscribers, the TRAI tariff order said.
In another significant consumer-friendly move, TRAI has issued fresh regulations under which a subscriber can get services temporarily suspended for up to 3 months in a year.
There is also a mandatory provision “for recording” the consent of the consumer for any change in the subscribed package.
The regulator has also notified interconnection and quality of service orders which will regulate the agreements and deal structure between the broadcasters and DPOs and other stakeholders, along with the service quality offered to the subscribers.