New Consultation Paper to Patch NTO Will Not Make Major Changes: Trai Advisor

Trai advisor Arvind Kumar took the chance at Video and Broadband Summit to defend the consultation paper that will patch up the discrepancies in the National Tariff Order (NTO)

Highlights
  • The NTO had went live in February 2019
  • The NTO increases the monthly rentals of the subscribers
  • Trai had floated another consultation paper to patch the NTO

Both the DTH operators and the broadcasters in the Indian DTH and broadcasting industry have been wary of the new consultation paper which the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is going to bring for the industry. The industry has taken a beating during its transition from the older pricing pattern in the DTH industry to the new one which was introduced at the start of this year. However, Trai has assured the DTH operators and the broadcasters that it won’t be making big changes to the National Tariff Order (NTO) which it introduced earlier this year. In a new update, Trai advisor, Arvind Kumar said on the sidelines of Video and Broadband Summit (VBS) that Trai is seeking to patch up some infirmities in the earlier National Tariff Order (NTO) and it will not make any major changes to the fundamental rules laid down in the National Tariff Order.

trai-advisor-defends-consultation-paper

Trai Advisor Defends New Consultation Paper

“Broadcasters should rest assured that the new consultation paper will not seek to decide their channel prices. The only objective of the new consultation paper is to open a debate on how the NTO is impacting the industry and to address some of the infirmities in the NTO.” Kumar said. It is crucial to note that the new consultation paper that has been introduced for the reformation of the new tariff regime has been criticised by the industry and the industry stakeholders because the consultation paper was released just months later after the implementation of the new tariff regime. The dust was only settling, and the subscribers had just transitioned to the new tariff regime when Trai started talking about reforms in the new tariff regime, and how there could be more changes. This drew some critical eyes from the industry, which had faced the blow of the new tariff regime.

NTO Brings Transparency Into the DTH Industry

Arvind Kumar said on the sidelines of the Video and Broadband event, thus dismissing the criticism from the industry and highlighted that the changes in the new tariff regime which will come as the result of the new consultation paper will not be fundamental changes, but they will patch up small discrepancies in the tariff regime. He also remarked that consumer interest lies at the heart of all these changes. Kumar added that consumer interest could not be ignored because of regulatory certainties.

Talking about the merits of the new national tariff order, Arvind Kumar said that the main aim of the national tariff order was to bring transparency, fair pricing and a level playing field for the DTH operators and all the other industry players. He said that the National Tariff Order (NTO) has succeeded in doing that. The NTO has also given a much-needed choice to the consumers as well. He also added that the new system has harmonised the business system as well.

Trai New Consultation Papers

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has been on the task of introducing new consultation papers in the industry since the launch of the national tariff order (NTO). Trai has introduced many consultation papers which include some of the important ones like the one on Interoperability of Set-Top Boxes and more. The new consultation paper on Set-Top Box interoperability will help the subscribers in getting Set-Top Boxes which will not be exclusive to one DTH operator or cable TV service, but would be able to work with any DTH operator.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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