Maharashtra Cable Operators Federation stated how the implementation process will necessitate frequent interaction between subscribers and field executives, thereby increasing the chances of contracting coronavirus
In light of coronavirus, the Maharashtra Cable Operators Federation (MCOF) has requested the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to defer the implementation of new tariff order (NTO) 2.0 in an email sent on Monday. Furthermore, the federation has also requested the deferment to be made applicable to direct-to-home (DTH) and internet protocol television (IPTV) operators as well while the interim period would be used for more interactions with and by the industry. “We also request that the deferment be made applicable to DTH and IPTV Operators too so as to ensure Status quo across the Sector. This is without prejudice to the rights of stakeholders who have legally challenged the Tariff regulations and the outcomes are subjudice at this stage,” the letter written by Arvind Prabhoo, MCOF, stated. FEBrandWagon Online has access to the letter and has read the same.
In the letter, the MCOF also highlighted how distributors face problems as local cable operators (LCO) business consists of many visits to customers’ homes thereby, increasing the chances of either being infected by the COVID-19 or might become a passive carrier. “NTO 2.0 will necessitate more frequent interaction with subscribers firstly to refit them into New Basic Plan options and secondly to enable them to make the right choices of pay channels and packages. The field executives will thus be exposed to many subscribers and vice versa and thus has a higher probability of turning into a passive carrier, if not a patient himself this is ill- advised in the days of Coronavirus spread,” the letter added.
On January 1, 2020, TRAI had introduced fresh changes to the tariff order by lowering the maximum ceiling on the price of TV channels to Rs 12, as against the earlier price of Rs 19. Currently, there are 209 million TV households in the country. Of these 33 million TV households is Prasar Bharti owned FreeDish subscribers. This leaves the country with a total of 176 million TV households.