- DTH and cable TV companies would be selected at random for the audit, Trai said
- The audit would look at grievance redressal helplines, issues with long term pack subscribers and missing channels
It is well known in the TV and broadcasting industry now that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is being stringent about the new rules of the industry and the new regulatory framework. The sector regulator had also warned the industry players of action against them in case they were found violating the norms. As per a new ET Telecom report, in its attempt to enforce the rules with much more strictness, Trai has now brought in state-owned Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd (BECIL) which will be responsible for conducting audits of the cable TV and DTH companies. Trai has been sending out notices and directions to the DTH and Cable TV companies in the last few weeks for violation of the rules, but now the regulator will also be resorting to audits in the sector.
Audits Will Look into Grievance Redressal Helplines and More Areas
Trai secretary SK Gupta said, “BECIL will be conducting the audit on behalf of TRAI to ensure compliance with the new regulatory framework. We request all distribution platform operators (DPOs) to ensure compliance with the new regulatory framework in letter and spirit.” The official also added that currently it is being discussed which companies would face audit of systems. He clarified that DTH and cable TV companies would be selected at random and audit will be conducted to see whether or not they are complying with the rules of the new regulatory framework.
Like we mentioned above, Trai has already tightened the noose for a lot of Cable TV and DTH operators and acted on the consumer complaints which it received in regards with specific offerings, grievance redressal helplines, and arbitrary migration of subscribers to the new channel packs despite them having a valid long-term plan on their subscriber account. Consumers had said that some of the operators were forcing a few channels and channel packs and schemes to the consumers, and consumers were not able to exercise full flexibility of channel choice.
Trai Keeping Consumer Interest as Top Priority
Trai had also recently slapped DTH providers Tata Sky, Dish TV and Sun Direct with notices which were failing to abide by the new rules primarily related to subscribers who had long term plans with the DTH providers. Trai chairman, RS Sharma had also stated that the DTH operators and cable TV operators who were keeping the norms on the sidelines and violating them would have to face the consequences. He had also emphasised that consumer interest is “non-negotiable” and “cannot be compromised”.
The audit which Trai will conduct for these operators would involve looking at subscriber management system, websites of these DTH and cable TV service providers, customer care helplines and the flexibility and choice of channels being offered by these companies to the subscribers. Trai secretary has said that the audits would begin very soon.
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.