TRAI cracks the whip again on DAS phase I MSOs

MUMBAI: Consumer billing has been a major irritant for all those involved in the process of India's cable TV digitisation. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been hauling up all and sundry amongst the multi-system operators (MSOs) to issue bills to cable TV subscribers, but has not managed to get the process in motion as yet even in the DAS phase I metros of Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

Now it's time for another warning from the TRAI. It has written to 29 MSOs in the DAS phase I areas, telling them that they have to get their act together on consumer billing for the month of November 2013. Bills should be dispatched to cable TV subscribers by either the MSOs or local cable TV operators by 15 December; and a compliance report submitted by 31 December. Earlier on 6 November, the TRAI had intervened asking the MSOs to send a compliance report for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata by 15 November.

The direction comes from the powers conferred on the authority under section 13, read with sub clauses (i) and (v) of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 11, of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (24 of 1997) and regulation 14, 15, 16 and 24 of the Standards of Quality of Service (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems) Regulations, 2012 and to protect the interest of the consumer.

As per the direction, the MSOs also need to ensure that a proper receipt is given by it or its linked LCO for every payment made by the subscriber. “The MSOs will have to offer cable TV services to its subscribers on both pre-paid and post-paid payment options and generate bills for subscriber. That apart, the MSO also has to provide to the pre-paid subscriber, at a reasonable cost, the information relating to the itemised usage charge showing actual usage of service,” states the TRAI direction.

What is notable is that it is not mandatory for the MSOs or its linked LCO to provide to the subscriber the information for any period beyond six months, preceding the month in which the request is made by the subscriber. According to the direction, “Every MSO shall, on request from the subscriber, change his payment plan from pre-paid to post-paid or vice-versa, without any extra charge.”

To make the billing process clearer, the regulator has, as per regulation 15 of the Standards of Quality of Service (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems) Regulations, provided that every MSO should - either directly or through the LCO - “give to every subscriber the bill for charges due and payable by such subscriber for each month or for such other period as agreed between the parties, for which such charges become payable by the subscriber.”

The subscriber will be billed, generally on a monthly basis, including the service tax registration number and the MSO's entertainment tax registration number. “Every MSO or its linked LCO, shall give 15 days, from the date of the bill, to every subscriber for making payment of the bill and in case the subscriber fails to make payment after expiry of the due date of payment, the MSO or LCO may charge simple interest of 12 per cent per annum on the amount due for the delay in making payment,” states TRAI's direction.

Latest Reads
SC to hear Star India petition on TRAI tariff order late August

The Supreme Court today listed for 28 August the special leave petition filed by Star India and Vijay TV against a tariff and inter-connect orders of regulator TRAI that had been given a go-ahead by the Madras High Court.

Regulators Supreme Court
MIB Minister tries to allay fears on online surveillance & privacy violations

The Indian government has denied that its proposed Social Media Communications Hub, under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), will violate a citizen’s privacy through monitoring of social media footprints as the plan was more directed towards propagating the...

Regulators I&B Ministry
Fake news on social media: Law & IT Minister favours evolving a policy

The Indian government seems to be speaking in two voices over the menace of fake news. While law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said he would hold talks with stakeholders to evolve a policy, his junior SS Ahluwalia on Wednesday had told Parliament that the government doesn't propose to...

Regulators I&B Ministry
Supreme Court questions MIB’s digital chatter monitoring proposal

The government proposes, Supreme Court disposes. Well, almost. Not fully yet. Though, the apex court has questioned a Ministry of Information and Broadcasting proposal to monitor digital chatter and online footprint, observing today that if done it would be "like creating a surveillance state".

Regulators I&B Ministry
Comment: Why it’s important for Rathore at MIB to walk the (sports) talk

He may have started the #HumFitToh IndiaFit campaign that went viral on social media last month and had celebs and plebs posting images of their health routine.

Regulators I&B Ministry
CCI reduces penalty on broadcast companies for rigging bids

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday waived the penalty imposed on Globecast and reduced by 30 per cent the penalty imposed on Essel Shyam Communication Ltd (ESCl), rechristened Planetcast, for bid-rigging in tenders for procurement of end-to-end broadcasting services for various...

Regulators TRAI
TRAI: Make STBs, content & telecom services disabled- friendly

With an aim to make communications and TV services more accessible to people with disabilities (PWDs), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has come out with a series of recommendations, including a confusing one suggesting that 50 per cent TV channels to be developed in PWD-friendly and...

Regulators TRAI
Tata Sky mulls fresh petition against TRAI tariff rollout

MUMBAI: Indian DTH operator Tata Sky is exploring options of filing a fresh petition in Delhi High Court against a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India directive to implement a new tariff regime from 3 July. Industry sources indicated that though Tata Sky withdrew its petition filed in the...

Regulators TRAI
VCPL to contest SEBI order on NDTV share acquisition

Following the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s directive to make an open offer for acquiring NDTV shares, Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL) has decided to appeal against the order with the Securities Appellate Tribunal.

Regulators TRAI

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories