No Cases of Trai Norms Breach in Channel Pricing by DTH Operators, Says I&B Minister

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Information and Broadcast Minister, Prakash Javadekar has said that there has been no incidents of Direct-to-Home (DTH) service provider breaching the new Trai tariff regime in terms of pricing. He said that all the DTH operators have been found adhering to the norms set up by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) pertaining to the prices of channels. The minister, in his response to a question said in the Lok Sabha, “No incidence indicating that the DTH Operators are not adhering to the TRAI’s norms with regards to the pricing of channels has come to the notice of TRAI.”

DTH and Cable Operators Fully Adhering to New Trai Norms

He further stated to the government that the DTH operators, in essence, have fully implemented by the new regulatory norms brought forth by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for the broadcasting and cable services. Javadekar also pointed out that the new Trai tariff regime has been implemented with effect on December 28, 2018. But, keeping the convenience of the consumers as top priority and to allow them to make easy choices about channel packs and pricing, the telecom regulator allowed the subscribers till March 31, 2019, so that they could easily convey their choices to their service providers.

As per the new regulatory framework implemented by the sector watchdog, all the broadcasters have to avail their channels on an a-la-carte basis and with a maximum retail price (MRP) on these channels chargeable per month. This would allow the subscribers to choose their channels freely and on an a-la-carte basis. Further, as per the new rules of Trai all the Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) including DTH operators are mandated to display of prices of all channels on Electronic Program Guide (EPG), which are visible to all the consumers watching TV.

Trai Spreading Awareness About New Rules in Industry

As per the I&B minister, the telecom regulator has taken several initiatives to generate awareness for the consumers and facilitating them in selecting the channels of their choice for them. Trai has also mandated all the service providers, including DTH and cable companies to update their websites and apps to publish the required information for the ease of the consumers.

This way, the telecom regulator has made it easy for the subscribers to select their channels via the method of apps and websites. Alternatively, for the subscribers who might not have the technical know-how of navigating the websites or these mobile applications. Trai, along with the companies, has made it possible for the subscribers to make channel selections through call centres. This way, the subscribers can tell their channels of choice to the call centre representatives and check their monthly bills. The minister also added that Trai has taken the help of various print and digital media to generate awareness and has published numerous ads in multiple languages as well for this purpose.

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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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