- The NCF has now got an upper cap of Rs 160
- The will be no NCF for additional channels
- People will get 200 channels in base NCF
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has charted a direction for the DTH and broadcasting industry with the rollout of the new National Tariff Order, or the National Tariff Order 2.0. These are nothing but the amendments by Trai which the regulator has pondered upon in the last year and then rolled them out after a lot of deliberation. These rules will become effective on March 1 across the nation and there are many branches to them. The new rules clearly define the Multi TV policies that the DTH operators will be required to follow along with some specific rules for the channel pricing and long term channel packs. However, if there is one thing that the consumers will especially like in the new National Tariff Order is the pricing of the Network Capacity Fee. This fee, which is also known as the NCF was introduced in the first iteration of the tariff order and is paid by the subscribers to the DTH providers for carrying the channels and depends on the number of channels they watch. With the new tariff order, the NCF might become very cheap.
Old NCF Rules Explained
It is first important to reiterate how the NCF rule works in the present scenario. Currently, the subscribers have to pay the base NCF of Rs 130 plus taxes, which makes the total payment to Rs 153 per month for 100 SD channels. Out of these 100 SD channels, the subscribers have to give up the 25 slots for the mandatory DD channels essentially leaving out 75 channel slots. Now the subscribers also have to pay the pay channel charges if they subscribe to a pay channel. Else they could simply subscribe to pay 75 FTA channels without paying anything extra.
New NCF Rules Favourable for Subscribers
With the new rules, the numbers of the NCF will all change. While the current rule allows only 100 channels in the base NCF of Rs 130, the new rule will allow the subscribers to have 200 channels. This means that the subscribers will not have to pay anything extra in case they decide to add a bunch of more FTA channels to their subscriptions.
One more thing that the subscribers will very much appreciate with the new NCF rules is that Trai has said that the mandatory DD channels will not be counted against the NCF which the subscribers pay for. This means that in Rs 153, the subscribers will get full 200 channel slots and they will not have to give up 25 slots to the mandatory DD channels, even if they don’t ant them.
No Price for Additional Channels
Another major change comes in the pricing of the additional channels. Previously the subscribers had to pay Rs 20 per 25 additional channels if they wanted to extend the number of channels which were available to them. This meant that to access, 200 channels, they would have to spend Rs 80 more than the base NCF. But, now the NCF has been capped at Rs 160, which means that the subscribers will not have to pay more than Rs 160 in total in the name of NCF.
Other Changes in Multi TV, Channel Packs and More
Out of all the changes that Trai has made for the consumers in the new NTO, the change in the NCF pricing is the most favourable one. Of course, apart from the NCF changes, there are changes in the channel pack rules, multi TV policy and also for long term packs as well.
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.