The National Tariff Order (NTO) 2.0 was introduced at the start of 2020, however, it hasn't been implemented by several Cable TV operators across the country. While DTH operators implemented NTO 2.0 within the specified timeframe, Cable TV operators went against Trai and challenged the new order in local courts. The Bombay High Court is still in the process of hearing the final arguments regarding the implementation of NTO 2.0. Meanwhile, Trai's chairman R S Sharma opined that the non-implementation of NTO 2.0 would likely bring back discriminatory practices in the sector and will also lead to chaos.
NTO 2.0 Should Be Implemented Very Soon: Trai Chairman
In recent times, we saw popular Cable TV operators like Hathway and Den Networks implementing the NTO 2.0, but several local cable operators are still opposing the new order.
“Non-implementation of January 2020 amendments is jeopardising the business process, which has been harmonised after 2017 Regulatory framework and the delay and uncertainty in the implementation will again bring back non-transparency and discriminatory practices in the sector, wherein industry was full of litigation and there was no choice of channels to consumers," R S Sharma told ET Telecom.
He also stated that the delay in implementation would affect consumers negatively. The NTO 2.0 was announced on January 1 and was implemented by DTH operators in March 2020. The Bombay HC has asked Trai to avoid taking any action until the final judgement is declared. The final judgement is expected to be pronounced sometime this month.
Besides Cable TV operators, it was broadcasters who are opposing the NTO 2.0 heavily. As part of the new order, no bouquet pack from a broadcaster should include an individual channel priced above Rs 12. The NTO 2.0 is said to benefit the consumers and broadcasters believe it will be tough for them to survive in the industry.
DTH operators have done their part by implementing the new regime, but it will be interesting to see the final judgement from Bombay HC.