The deadline for migration to the new Trai based channel packs was over on March 31, and with that, the implementation of the new regime by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) was brought to effect in its full-fledged form. With the completion of the transition period, Trai has said that almost every subscriber has migrated to the new channels and altered their TV channel selection. The total number now stands at nearly 19 crores. The regulator has also said that a large number of subscribers have changed their TV selections by quite a margin, whereas others have stuck to the same channels barely changing anything. The authority also added that tariffs have also gone up in certain areas, especially in the rural regions.
Almost 100% Subscribers Make the Switch to New Regime
An advisor with the Trai, Arvind Kumar said, “The overall migration has been satisfactory, though there have been teething problems that we are trying to sort now.” To recall, it was back in 2017 when the regulator had first talked about the new rules; however, come the end of 2018, we got to see the implementation of the new tariff rules in effect. The idea behind this introduction was to provide flexibility to the TV viewers in terms of channel choices. Trai had asserted that subscribers should be able to make extremely flexible choices regarding their channel selections and they should only be paying for the same. Previously, the subscribers had to buy bulky channels packs with an overpriced value. However, the new tariff regime grants full control to the subscribers in terms of channel selections. This news is reported by Times Now.
Trai chairman, RS Sharma said regarding this new implementation, “By introducing a low-priced MRP regime, we want people to make an informed choice about the channels that they want to watch either from the free channel's portfolio or from the paid stack.” He added, “We expect monthly bills to come down if consumers make a studied choice and pay for only those channels that they generally watch.”
Trai to Meet with Broadcasters to Resolve Certain Issues
However, in reality, the situation might not have panned out as Trai had in mind since in certain rural and semi-urban areas the subscription costs have gone up. The regulator also pointed out that there were issues related to migration in many regions as DTH and cable companies did not have easy change-over software. The industry regulator will be meeting with broadcasters and officials from the cable industry soon to sort these issues out. On this matter, subscribers who have been surveyed have also agreed that their subscription costs have gone up. However, the overall sentiment of the public is positive since they get to enjoy the benefits of a more transparent system.