Trai Tells DTH Providers to Keep Long Duration Plans Live for Subscribers in New Mandate

Alongside extending the channel selection deadline to March 31, 2019, Trai also urged that DTH providers should continue providing long-duration plans to the subscribers

Highlights
  • All the DTH operators removed long-validity plans under the new tariff regime
  • Subscribers who're currently on a long-validity plan will be credited with the balance amount to their respect account

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has issued a new notification wherein it directed the DTH operators and cable operators to follow some new guidelines. The new order also pushed the deadline for migration to the new Trai based plans to further March 31, 2019. Another significant change which Trai has directed in its latest notification concerns the long duration packs which a lot of subscribers are still holding on. Previously, Trai had said that the subscribers of long duration packs could switch their channels to the Trai base new pricing and the respective monthly rental would keep on deducting from the total left amount of the long duration subscription. However, the new direction has brought significant change.

Change in Long Duration Packs

The latest direction by the regulator says that the DTH operators like Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV and more would have to continue the long duration packs to their original validity. To recall, a lot of these DTH providers were selling these long-duration plans as late as in December 2018. Going by the new rule, if a subscriber had purchased the long duration pack on December 2018 for one-year validity, then the DTH provider would have to serve the subscriber as per the original terms till December 2019. This new direction hurts the DTH providers financially.

The new Trai mandate means that the charges which the DTH providers are paying to the channel owners have gone up. In such case, if the long duration subscriber pays the old price, then it is going to mean a financially less-viable deal for the DTH players. Trai in its statement has also said that in case the subscribers of the long duration plan make their channel selection, then they should be migrated like the other subscribers, and their monthly rental should be adjusted against their paid amount month on month.

Trai Asks DTH Providers to Keep Long Duration Packs

Trai in its statement said, “The Authority further reiterates that subscribers who have taken long term packs will continue to avail the services for the contracted period. However, they have the freedom to choose the channels of their choice under the new regulatory framework and in case if they exercise this option, money for the remaining period shall be adjusted for their future use.”

It is worth noting that Trai had started discussing the new tariff mandate back in the first half of 2018, but still DTH providers continued with selling the long duration packs as further into the year in December. The DTH providers, being fully aware that they will face the problem in case the new mandate is implemented, went on with selling these packs.

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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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They fooled us by choosing channels first which turn out more expensive than long duration packs for all channels. Now they come up with this and there is no helpline for redressal of customer complaints. What then hell are they upto, even they dont have clarity

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