The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), confirmed that its new tariff order 2020 or NTO 2.0 stands to be implemented on March 1 even as it is challenged in different high courts. The regulator has directed broadcasters and distribution platform operators (DPOs) to publish required information on their website to allow customers to exercise their choice of channels and bouquets before March 1. Previously Trai had stated all broadcasters were required to report to the regulator and as well publish on their websites, (a) any change in retail prices per month of channels and bouquets, (b) composition of bouquets by January 15.
Trai Directs NPOs and Publish New Prices at the Earliest
Additionally, it directed DPOs to report and simultaneously publish on their websites, (a) Network capacity fee, (b) distribution retail prices of pay channels, (c) composition of bouquets of pay channels, (d) composition of bouquets of free-to-air channels; (e) network capacity fee for additional connection beyond first connection in multi TV homes; and (f) network capacity fee for long term subscriptions, by January 30.
Furthermore, it directed the service providers to inform the consumers on their websites that all such existing bouquets which do not conform to the provisions of Tariff Order 2020 will be removed by March 1, 2020.
However, the regulatory board found broadcasters and the distribution platform operators have so far failed to report to Trai or publish the required information on their respective websites. It also noted that most of the existing bouquets of pay channels are not in compliance with the Tariff Order 2017 as per information on broadcaster channels.
Trai Urges NTO 2.0 Should Be Implemented on March 1
The regulator said that the provisions of the Tariff Amendment Order 2020 would come into force from March 1, 2020, and asked the service providers to ensure all activities for the same are carried out in a time-bound manner. This will ensure their customers get sufficient time to choose their choice of channels or bouquets before the deadline of March 1.
“Therefore, all service providers concerned may take suitable steps to ensure that the consumers have enough time to make their choices of channels so that the smooth transition takes place on 1st March 2020,” it stated in the press statement.
It will be interesting to see how broadcasters respond to this notice from Trai. The IBF, which represents the broadcasters in India, has approached several local courts seeking relief from the Trai’s new amendments to the tariff regime. The war is now between broadcasters and Trai; Once broadcasters publish their revised channel prices and packs on their respective websites, DTH & Cable TV operators will follow the same immediately.