Technology

Trai defied TDSAT order on tariff regulation for DTH: TataSky















NEW DELHI: The counsel for TataSky today pleaded with the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to ask Trai to regulate tariff on DTH platforms, and complained that despite the Tribunal‘s order on this issue, Trai had completely disobeyed this, as reflected in its latest Consultation Paper on DTH.


Arguing in the TataSky Vs Zee Turner case being heard at TDSAT, senior counsel for TataSky Ramji Srinivas reminded that the Tribunal in its order dated July 14 2006, had specifically ordered Trai to take up the issue of tariff control on the DTH platform, but the sector regulator has not done that.


Instead, Srinivas pointed out to the Tribunal, that the latest consultation paper from Trai specifically on the issue of DTH-related issues, says that the tariff issue is not being taken into consideration for the moment.

 

RN Chaubey, advisor (B&CS), Trai had earlier this week told indiantelevision.com that it was not considering the tariff issue, though this is for the moment.


During the course of hearing this year, TDSAT had asked Trai whether it would like to regulate tariff and look into the issue of transponder space constraint. In its reply to this, Trai had said that it was considering the issue and would issue a consultation paper soon. However, the paper issued by Trai on March 2 did not take this issue of tariff into consideration.


Srinivasan told the court that if there could be tariff regulation in the case of Cas, why has refused to get into tariff regulation for DTH, especially after the TDSAT itself had issued an order to this effect.

 

In arguing for his client, Srinivas said that the manner in which Zee Turner was forcing it to carry "junk channels", thus cramming its limited transponder capacity, was not in line with the consistent insistence of the TDSAT and Trai that the key words in this whole new regime was freedom of consumer choice.


He argued that the Trai regulation on the issue did not imply a "must carry" clause, and said Trai had repeatedly reiterated this. However, Zee was interpreting the clause 7.6 of the Trai regulation saying that it implied "must carry" for all the channels it feeds the DTH operator with.


The court adjourned the case till tomorrow, and the matter remained part heard.


Zee Turner is set to argue its case in the final hearing slated for March 8.

 

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