Trai Will Work to Reduce Costs After Admitting to Increased Subscription Rates After New Tariff Regime

After a lot of back and forth, Trai has finally come around and accepted the fact that the new regulatory framework has caused the monthly subscription bills to shoot up

By June 9th, 2019 AT 9:36 PM
Highlights
  • Trai will issue a consultation paper in few days to invite comments on how it can reduce prices
  • Supreme Court has also granted Trai the full power to regulate tariff in the industry

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) rolled out the new regulatory framework to bring more transparency to the DTH and broadcasting industry. It also intended to change prices on the business side of things. However, some of the unexpected drawbacks of this new rule change meant rising costs for the subscribers and major inconvenience as well. While Trai was initially not admitting to this, the regulator has now admitted that the new tariff regime has led to increased subscription costs. The Trai will now float consultation paper in the coming days to discuss methods about how these increased prices can be brought down.

Monthly TV Bills Increase After New Trai Tariff Regime

Conventionally, broadcasters like Star India have believed that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the telecom regulator to look into tariffs. However, Trai says that it always had the authority to look into the tariffs of the industry but had chosen not to do so until now and has let the market forces decide it– a similar approach how it takes for the telecom industry.

Before the rollout of the new regulatory and pricing framework, Trai had actually intended to reduce the monthly cost of TV bills, but after the implementation of this new regime, many complaints have surfaced saying that monthly TV bills have gone up instead of coming down. This is not it, as consumers are also facing a lot of confusion regarding the new tariff regime. About this, the official said, “The aim was to make TV channel pricing more transparent and to give control of channels to the consumers while making it more affordable… but it did not pan out that way.”

The new tariff mandate from Trai had surely turned the industry towards the path of transparency with the consumers only paying for channels which they want to watch. But, this has also made the monthly TV bills of viewers costly.

Trai to Now Float Consultation Paper to Reduce Tariff

Sachin Gupta, Senior Director at a rating firm had said, “Our analysis of the impact of the regulations indicates a varied impact on monthly TV bills. Based on current pricing, the monthly TV bill can go up by 25% from Rs 230-240 to ~Rs 300 per month for viewers who opt for the top 10 channels, but will come down for those who opt up to top 5 channels.”

However, that time Trai had dismissed these reports saying that the monthly bills will come down with time. Now floating a consultation paper will also be legally possible for Trai as the Supreme Court has already noted that Trai possesses the power to frame tariffs and regulations for the broadcasting industry.

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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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