Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given time till January 31 for consumers to opt for channels of their choice under the new framework for broadcasting and cable services.
“We had a meeting of broadcasters, DTH operators, and MSOs (multi-system operators) on Thursday. Everyone confirmed their readiness to implement new regulations. However, they requested that some more time may be given to seek options from subscribers for smooth and interruption free migrations’’, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Secretary S K Gupta told PTI.
Accordingly, distribution platform operators (DPOs) have been permitted to seek options from consumers till January 31 and customers will be migrated as per their choice from February 1, he added.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently under the new framework made a consumer-friendly move, which would enable customers to buy and watch only those channels which they like. It means if you like to watch only music channels on your TV, you can subscribe only music channels along with the base pack. As per a report by BARC, more than half of the viewers watch around just 30 channels which are scattered over different packs, which ultimately leads to costly monthly packages. The new order by TRAI will take place from December 29 and the consumers will have to pay just Rs 130 for 100 free-to-air (FTA) channels as their base pack. With the base pack, consumers can select different channel bundles for each month.
The telecom regulator had earlier asserted that the implementation of the new framework would lead to lower prices for TV viewers and slammed the “misinformation campaign” being carried out by some to fuel “hyperbolic fear” among consumers.
TRAI believes that this move will give more power to the consumers and will also promote affordability. But some industry experts don’t agree with this and think that this will ultimately lead to costlier packages.
TRAI Chairman R S Sharma had, earlier this month, said the regulator was working to ensure a smooth transition to the new framework without causing any disruption for consumers.
The Supreme Court had recently dismissed a plea challenging the TRAI’s March 2017 regulations and tariff order, relating to fixation of charges for free and pay channels.
(With inputs from PTI)