Sector regulator, Trai, has revealed that six Cable TV operators including the popular ones like Hathway Digital, GTPL Hathway, Siti Networks, Den Networks and others have violated several rules regarding the new tariff regime which fully became effective on April 1. The other two players on the list are Fastway Transmissions Private Limited and IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL). According to a PTI report, the Trai has asked the six Cable TV operators to ensure compliance within five days from Tuesday (April 16). Going by the report, the said Cable TV subscribers of these six operators are unable to exercise their choices till date which is underwhelming.
Six Cable TV Operators Come Under Trai Radar for Violating Rules
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) found that GTPL Hathway, Siti Networks, Fastway Transmissions Private Ltd, Den Networks, and IMCL are forcing channels and package schemes to the consumers, and subscribers are not able to exercise their choice till date.
Trai has unveiled the new tariff order and regulatory regime for the broadcast and cable sector to facilitate consumers to opt for channels they wish to view and pay only for them. The rule has been effective since February 1. It had said every channel should be offered a la carte, with a transparent display of rates on electronic programme guide.
The regulator also clarified that DTH and cable operators could not force consumers to go in for only predefined packages or bouquets. Recently, it was said that Cable TV operators are adding service charges to the subscribers.
Cable TV Operators Not Providing Bill Receipt to the Subscribers
Trai said it has received consumers' complaint that GTPL Hathway, Siti Networks, Fastway Transmissions Private Ltd and Den Networks are not providing bill receipt of the payment made in printed form to the consumers.
In the case of Hathway Digital, Trai found that it is offering a bouquet of TV channels which contain both free-to-air and pay channels. It found that Hathway Digital has disconnected pay channels of customers who have paid the advance amount for one year without their consent and only showing them FTA channels.
Also, Hathway Digital subscribers are unable to re-exercise their choice through the website or toll-free number of the company. IMCL subscribers complaint to Trai that the firm is overcharging the subscribers in the name of service charges.
The regulator issued the direction after inspecting consumer premises and verifying complaints. Trai asked all the six firms to "report compliance as per the new regulatory framework within five days from the date of issue of this direction".
Having said that, it will be interesting to see how these Cable TV operators will reflect back to Trai on this regard. But surely, several Cable TV users are suffering and are making migration to DTH operators, as we reported earlier.