The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has introduced some new recommendations in the DTH and broadcasting industry. It is well known that in the past few months, the sector regulator has made quite a lot of amendments to increase the ease for the subscribers of DTH and cable services and to also help the industry in general. The new tariff regime was a big step towards this goal, and now Trai has introduced some new recommendations related to Set-Top Boxes for DTH and cable TV operators. As you would expect, the new recommendations are also expected to affect the DTH and Cable TV subscribers as well. These new recommendations will help the DTH operators in conducting Know-Your-Customer process for the subscribers. All the DTH subscribers of Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV, Tata Sky, D2h and Sun Direct will be affected under these new rules. Here is what you should know about these new recommendations.
Trai Make Recommendations on KYC of Set-Top Boxes
Firstly, it is interesting to note how Trai has made these recommendations. Initially, last year, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had asked the telecom regulator in a reference letter to make recommendations on the topic of KYC for Set-Top Boxes. The KYC process for Set-Top Boxes would ensure that the services are extended after verification and that a set process is brought into practise for the DTH operators so that the customers can be adequately verified before installation and other proceedings while getting a DTH connection. To carry out the recommendation process, Trai floated a consultation paper in the public domain in which it invited comments and counter comments. After this process was completed, Trai also held an open house discussion on the topic after which it arrived at the recommendations for the KYC of Set-Top Boxes.
DTH Subscribers to be Verified Via OTP Before Set-Top Box Setup
Under the new recommendations, Trai has said that before the installation of the new DTH equipment at the subscribers’ house, verification should be conducted by the DTH operators at the address provided in the customer application form for the DTH services. This verification would be done by the representative of the DTH company. Also, this DTH company representative should take the required information from the subscribers to maintain the record for the DTH installation.
Next up, the DTH operators should also verify the customer as well and for this, Trai has recommended the use of a one-time-password. As per the recommendations of Trai, while visiting the customer’s home for installation of DTH equipment, the subscriber should be verified by an OTP, and if that’s not possible, then the subscriber should be verified with an electronic or hard copy of a valid identity card. After this verification is done, then the DTH representative will proceed with the installation of the DTH Equipment or the Set-Top Box.
Trai Says No to Location-Based Services on Set-Top Boxes
The telecom regulator has made recommendations about the existing Set-Top Boxes as well. It is worth noting that instead of new Set-Top Boxes, there would be a lot more Set-Top Boxes to be verified which are already existing. For this, Trai has recommended that the DTH subscribers should link their registered number with the Set-Top Box, and the verification for the existing subscribers of DTH services should be done over the period of two years. Trai has also made recommendations about the location-based services for Set-Top Boxes and has said no to the collection of data based on the location of Set-Top Boxes. Further, it has also said that the DTH operators would not have to conduct verification at regular intervals because that would incur huge costs to the companies.