Trai Confirms NCF Charges Waive Off for DTH Subscribers With Multiple Connections

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had introduced the new pricing mandate for channels, broadcasters and cable operators thus bringing in a massive change in pricing back in 2017. The pricing scheme based on the new tariff regime went effective on December 29 in 2018 and to allow a smooth transition of subscribers to the new tariff regime the DTH providers were given till February 1, after which the new channel pricing has gone effective. However, even with the new pricing regime, there were some areas which the Trai had missed to address, and one such problem was of multiple connections in a single home or location. It wasn’t made clear by the regulator what the subscribers would have to pay if they were to have multiple connections from the same DTH providers, but in the latest press issue, the regulator has finally resolved the confusion.

Relief for Subscribers With Multiple Connections

Clarifying the issue of multiple connections, Trai said that it has capped the Network Capacity Fee for 100 channels at Rs 130 SD channels, above that the subscribers will have to pay Rs 20 for 25 additional channels. Trai said that in some areas DTH subscribers are waving off the entire NCF fee for a second connection in the same home or location, but the regulator said that this should be uniform for subscribers across the target market and also directed that the information should be declared duly on the DPOs website. The DPOs might even decide to offer a discounted or lesser NCF on an additional connection, but the same should be conveyed to the subscribers transparently.

More Flexibility for Subscribers to Choose Channels

This announcement is not the only highlight of the new Trai tariff regime. In essence, the new mandate makes it very easy for the subscribers to pay only for what they watch. Now the consumers will be able to choose the channels they want to subscribe to, and they will just pay for those specific channels. Previously the practice of shipping additional channels by the broadcasters which used to fetch them more revenue has thus come to an end. Subscribers will now enjoy the right to choose from Free to air (FTA) or pay channels, and then they will have to pay the network charges along with it as part of their total amount.

To make the process smoother for the end consumer, Trai is also directing the DTH providers and operators to set up call centres and dedicated helplines so that the subscribers face absolutely no disruption in services or inconvenience. The new tariff mandate also makes it very easy for the subscribers to change their channel selection at any given point in time.

Arpit Sharma

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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Arpit Sharma