Technology

Tdsat to hear multiple petitions against Trai tariff order next week

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (Tdsat) is to hear early next week petitions by multi-system operators Digicable Networks (India), Delhi Distribution Company, United Cable Operator’s Welfare Association and others challenging the digital tariff order of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).


Although Tdsat had issued notice to Trai and the Union of India in this connection on 2 July, it was informed today that the regulator had filed its reply in early August and the Chaiperson Justice S B Sinha and member P K Rastogi had listed the matter for 24 August, but it could not be taken up for pressure of work. However, Tdsat decided to hear the matter next week when it was mentioned by counsel that it could not be delayed because of the sunset date for digitisation.


It will also hear a petition by IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) in this regard, and has permitted news broadcasters NDTV, Time Global (holding company of Times Now), India TV, TV Today, Total TV, and News Broadcaster‘s Association (NBA), Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), and other broadcasters to be a party to it.
Digicable has approached the broadcast tribunal opposing the sector regulator’s new revenue sharing mechanism. In its petition, Digicable said Trai’s tariff order is "unjust, unfair, unreasonable, arbitrary, irrational, and discriminatory" and is tilted towards the broadcasters.


According to the Trai tariff order, charges collected from the subscription of paid channels or bouquet of paid channels shall be shared in the ratio of 65:35 between MSO and the local cable operator (LCO) respectively.


Earlier, local cable operators had opposed the Trai tariff order. United Cable Operator’s Welfare Association, New Delhi, has approached the Tdsat seeking better revenue share from the MSOs and an extension in date for digitisation.


Meanwhile, the deadline for the first phase of digitisation in the four metros has already been postponed by four months to 1 November.

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