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Independent TV assures TRAI of compliance with new tariff order after subscribers complain

TRAI sought an explanation from the DTH operator on 26 March

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MUMBAI: Direct-to-home (DTH) operator Independent TV has clarified to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that it has taken several measures in order to ensure that its current tariff plans are in conformity with the regulator’s new framework for the broadcast sector.

TRAI had earlier sought an explanation from the DTH operator, formerly known as Big TV, over the tariff plans offered to its subscribers post the implementation of the new regime.

TRAI, in a letter on 26 March, had directed Independent TV "to ensure that the new regulations are followed in letter and spirit with no violations...ensure that all new connections booked are provided in a time bound manner...and ensure that all outlets of Independent TV Ltd do not provide any package which is in violation of new regulations".

This regulator’s action was a direct result of several complaints from Independent TV subscribers concerning the break-up details for monthly charges and an overall lack of clarity in terms of the operator’s new tariff plans.

"In regard to our current tariff plans being offered by Independent TV, we would like to assure the authority of our complete compliance with the NTO (New Tariff Order). Pursuant to our meetings...and the discussions...we have realigned our product offerings,” Independent TV told TRAI in a letter written last month, according to news agency PTI.

The operator also apprised TRAI of all its current plans and packages on offer, along with details of the network capacity fee (NCF) and distributor retail price.

"There were some complaints that their franchisees were offering annual plans without clarity on break up...So, Independent TV has said it has not activated any annual plan after implementation of the new regulatory framework, and that in case any of its franchisee is offering such plans, it will take necessary action," a TRAI official said.

Independent TV has also upped its communication strategy crafting advertisements and clearly stating its policy on withdrawal of the legacy offers and other details like channel packs and pricing on its website.

"With regard to any ambiguity on the old annual offer (Freedom 1999) from Independent TV and its current availability, we have taken the following steps...We have run a campaign on our website informing all prospective customers of the withdrawal of all our LDPs (Long Duration Packs) including Freedom 1999 pack. We have aggressively engaged in educating and explaining the same to our channel partners," the Independent TV letter further said.

The operator added, "Every complaint forwarded to us by the authority with regard to this issue is being verified one-on-one and any delinquent behaviour from any of our channel partners is being dealt with appropriately." 

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