The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has issued a directive to all the DTH providers including Dish TV, D2h, Tata Sky, Hathway, Den Networks, Airtel Digital and Sun Direct to publish their new plans and channels prices by the end of today. On Friday, the regulator posted on its website saying that all the DTH providers must strictly adhere to the timeline published by Trai on July 3. As reported by Ultra News, back in July, Trai had given a buffer of 180 days to these providers to put up new channel packs and plans.
DTH Providers Deviate from Trai’s Timelines
The regulator again said on Friday, “The Authority once again emphasise that all the provisions of the Interconnection Regulations 2017, the QoS Regulations 2017 and the Tariff Order 2017 are in force, and the regulatory provisions contained therein may be strictly complied with while implementing the prescribed schedule of activities.”
The regulator added to its words, “Accordingly, distribution platform operators (cable & DTH companies) shall declare the Distributor Retail Price (DRP) and Network Capacity Fee (NCF) as per the timelines given in Trai press release dated July 3, 2018, i.e. by December 29, 2018.” This news is reported by Ultra News.
Also, Trai has charted out a new migration strategy for the consumers and DTH providers alike. The DPOs will play a significant role in the migration to the new tariff regime, and the subscribers have been given 34 days to switch to the new scheme, before January 31. However, things might not be that easy since big DTH providers like Tata Sky have shown reluctance in adopting the new tariff scheme laid out by Trai, which seeks to make the television broadcasting industry more transparent. Tata Sky has approached High Court and Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to crush the new tariff regime laid out by Trai. However, the regulator has approached the Supreme Court after being disappointed by the modifications made in the tariff rules by Madras High Court.
It is worth noting that in case the Supreme Court issues an order in favour of the industry regulator then all the other pleas in the TDSAT and High Court will be moot since these bodies cannot go against the order of the Apex court.
Migration to New Tariff Regime to Conclude by January End
To recall, as per the guidelines which Trai had published back in July, the DTH providers were to provide the information about the new pricing and plans to the subscribers by October. Following this, the subscribers were to start migrating to the new tariff plans and the process was slated to be completed by today. However, the DTH providers have waited till the last minute to update the latest pricing information. Even with just hours to go before the deadline, none of the major DTH operators have updated the new pricing information, thus deviating from the timeline laid out by Trai.
Out of the many operators, Den and Asianet Cable are the only ones who have charted out the new pricing scheme on their websites well before the deadline. Airtel Digital TV has updated the pricing information on its mobile app, but the site continues to show the old prices. Other DTH providers like Dish TV, D2h, Hathway, Sun Direct and Tata Sky continue to show the old prices only. In case these providers do not manage to update the new tariff information by the end of today, there is a big chance that Trai might impose fines and penalties on these DTH providers.