After DTH and Cable TV Operators, Trai Turns to MSOs to Ensure Proper Compliance of New Tariff Regime

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Now that the biggest hurdle of the new tariff framework, i.e. the migration of subscribers is over, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) focusing on the next big task and that has to do with the proper reinforcement of the new norms. On seeing even the slightest breach of the rules, Trai is sending out notices to the companies. Firstly, the regulator had put cable TV operators in the crosshair and then the DTH providers. In its latest regional meeting in Kolkata with the MSOs, the sector regulator has looked into the working of Multi System Operators (MSOs) in the West Bengal region and identified multiple problems with their websites and customer related dealings, thus giving them the same stringent follow up like the DTH and cable operators. The regulator has also been sending out notices to these companies, demanding expedited compliance with the new norms.

Companies Directed to Report Compliance in Seven Days

The four DTH companies active in this space, Tata Sky, Dish TV, Sun Direct and Independent TV have been asked to comply with all the regulations listed in the new regulatory framework with a particular emphasis on the norms related to long-duration packs (LDPs). In the run-up to the implementation of the new tariff regime, the regulatory body has received numerous complaints from subscribers regarding these long duration packs.

Trai has asked these four companies to "desist from migrating long-term plan subscribers to any new plan till the contracted period ends, unless the subscriber opts out of it or the validity of the long term plan expires, whichever is earlier.” The regulator has given seven days to the DTH companies to comply with this order. To recall, in one of the earlier mandates Trai had noted that subscribers who had paid for the long-term plans would have no interruption and would continue to enjoy the channels and the plans until the validity expires.

Trai Continues to Receive Complaints Regarding Long Term Packs

Even with this mandate, Trai received a lot of complaints from the subscribers of these DTH companies saying that their LDPs have been discontinued or they have been migrated to ‘Best Fit Plans (BFPs)’ by their operators. Although Trai had directed the DPOs to migrate subscribers to the best-fit plans, in case they hadn't made their channels selections, the subscribers with LDP subscriptions were exempted from this.

Only a few days back, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had issued a notice to Dish TV for violation of norms of the new regulatory framework after consumers had complained about an improper customer care line. A similar warning was sent to Airtel Digital TV a few days before that. The notice sent to these operators also said that they were forcefully offering a bouquet of FTA channels to these subscribers. Lately, Trai has been very stringent towards the violation of such norms.

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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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