DTH, cable rentals won’t breach current bill amount; Trai to evolve guidelines

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Updated: February 14, 2019 7:27:02 AM

Sources said that since the new regulatory framework has come, 67 existing bouquets have revised their prices downwards and 8 pay channels have become free-to-air channels.

Sources said that since the new regulatory framework has come, 67 existing bouquets have revised their prices downwards and 8 pay channels have become free-to-air channels.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is in the process of evolving a framework under which it will ask Direct To Home (DTH) and cable operators to ensure that the rental of their ‘Best Fit Plan’ that is offered to subscribers does not exceed their old bill amount.

Sources told FE that the regulator is working on a framework where it will direct operators to ensure that the packages being offered to their subscribers under the ‘Best Fit Plan’ should not exceed their old cable TV bills.

The ‘Best Fit Plan’ is to be designed on consumers’ usage pattern and language spoken. It should preferably be a blended combination of various genres.

Trai on Tuesday said, “While making ‘Best Fit Plan’ for a subscriber, Distribution Platform Owners (DPOs) should ensure that payout per month of the ‘Best Fit Plan’ generally does not exceed the payout per month of existing tariff plan of the subscriber.”

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Confirming the development, a senior official said there have been complaints that the ‘Best Fit Plan’ being offered are costlier that their old bills. “Trai now wants to ensure that consumers do not face problems while migrating to the new regulatory regime. So, this new framework on the ‘Best Fit Plan’ is to ensure that subscribers get the best plan at the best prices.”

The new regulatory framework’ for broadcasting and cable services came into effect on December 29, 2018, but in order to provide sufficient time to subscribers for exercising their options, the regulator had provided time till January 31, 2019. All the DPOs were required to migrate subscribers as per their choice with effect from February 1, 2019. Now, the regulator has extended this period till March 31, 2019.

There are around 100 million cable service TV homes and 67 million DTH TV homes and so far around 65% of subscribers of the cable services and 35% of the DTH services have exercised the options.

Sources said that since the new regulatory framework has come, 67 existing bouquets have revised their prices downwards and 8 pay channels have become free-to-air channels.

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