The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has struck five Multi-System Operators (MSOs) with a new direction. The telecom regulator has demanded that these multi-system operators provide a compliance report with the new regulatory framework within seven days. The regulator has reached out to these MSOs for non-adherence to the new regulatory framework and violating some causes of the new regulations. The five MSOs which are in the crosshair of the telecom regulator include Hathway Digital, DEN Networks, Siti Networks, GTPL Hathway and IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL). It is worth noting that Trai has been going about conducting audit inspection of the headend conditional access system (CAS), subscriber management system (SMS) and the network system through BECIL. It was during these audits that the MSOs were found to be violating a few regulations of the new Trai rules, and we hence issue the new direction.
Two Major Points for Non-Compliance of MSOs
The last time that Trai had made a similar move was in June. During the audit that time, Trai had found discrepancies and shortcomings with the parameters mentioned and then served a direction to these companies asking them to report compliance within fifteen days of issue of direction. When Trai received replies from these MSOs, it made note that these companies still did not fully comply with the new regulatory framework of Trai, 2017 on various points. One of the points of non-compliance was that LCOs without GST Registration were collecting tax amount from the subscribers but not depositing it. Another point of non-compliance was that the LCOs were not presenting the consumers with itemised invoices and were instead supplying their own cash memo bill.
Out of the five MSOs, Hathway Digital was found to be violating two of the points. Although the MSO has provided the facility of bill generation on its portal, the subscribers are not being able to get itemised bills even after requesting the company to avail it. The second point again being that the LCOs are collecting the tax amount from the subscribers but not depositing it.
DEN Network, GTPL Hathway and Others Served Direction
DEN Networks has been served with the direction for similar causes. Under DEN Networks, the LCOs are providing a cash memo using a card system for payment receipts, and the subscribers are not able to get itemised bills. Also, DEN Networks is not providing the facility of subscription modification or upgradation on the consumer portal. IMCL, the other hand has been pinned down because its consumer portal is not working and the IVRS facility of IMCL also does not have provision for registering a complaint. The problem of GST bills not being deposited and the lack of itemised bills persist with IMCL too.
Similarly, the issues of GST amount not being deposited by the LCOs, no complaint registration provision on IVRS, and the non-provision of itemised bills are the persistent issues with Siti Network GTPL Hathway as well.