This raises the question over whether connectivity will also be
frozen as of 26 December. This is in the light of certain channels
claiming that they have not increased their rates, but have reduced
the rates, provided the cable ops and MSOs have increased their
declared subscription base, which in effect, is tantamount to a
TRAI has said it would like written responses by 30 January, 2004
to be sent to "Dr Harsha Vardhana Singh,Secretary, TRAI (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or to Rajan Singla, Advisor (email@example.com). The fax number
of TRAI is 011-26193294," says the consultation note.
Among the key issues it is seeking inputs for include:
a) The norms for fixing rates (or ceiling rates) for cable subscribers/
cable operators / Multi Service Operators for individual pay channels,
bouquets thereof, and distribution of free-to-air channels; whether
this should be uniform in areas under CAS and non-CAS areas or whether
it should be different; other principles for determining the above
mentioned rates, including periodicity of revision.
b) Regulation regarding rates of cable operators, including periodicity
of change of monthly cable charges in non-CAS areas and the maximum
percentage change to be allowed at any one time.
c) Principles governing the sharing of pay channel charges between
broadcasters, Multi Service Operators and local cable operators.
d) The principles for laying down limits as to the extent of bundling
of pay channels to be allowed in order to ensure that Cable TV viewers
have a genuine choice with regard to selection of pay channels,
e.g. to ensure that bundling does not discourage selection of individual
e) The standard terms and conditions under which set top boxes may
be made available (sale/rental) to subscribers in CAS areas and
refund of charges deemed inappropriate.
f) The conditions under which consumers may return set top boxes
sold or rented to them by service providers and ask for a refund;
g) The compensation to be paid by cable operators to viewers who
ordered pay channels if transmission is interrupted for more than
specified portion of prime time (e.g.10%) in a month or in the case
a sports channel, a similar portion (10%) of the time during an
important sports event. The principles for sharing this compensation
between broadcasters, Multi Service Operators and local cable operators.
h) The principles to be followed for laying down the standards
of quality of service to be provided by the cable operators / Multi
Service Operators / Broadcasters and for ensuring the quality of
service and conduct of periodic survey of such service provided
by the Cable Operators / Multi Service Operators / Broadcasters
so as to protect
the interests of the consumers of Broadcasting and Cable Services.
i) Measures to increase competition, promote efficiency and encourage
wider consumer choice in the operation of Broadcasting and Cable
services so as to serve consumer interests and to ensure the availability
of services in rural and remote areas.
j) Measures for the development of Broadcasting and Cable services
technology (including Direct-to-Home and Broadband) and any other
matter relatable to this industry, in general.
k. Advertisements on TV channels
(i) the maximum advertising time to be permitted per half-an hour
on free-to-air channels along with other conditions
that are required to be imposed;
(ii) the further regulation of advertising on pay channels in reference
to tariffs for the channels;
(iii) whether the restrictions at (i) & (ii) above should apply
to both CAS and non-CAS areas uniformly or whether
differential treatment is called for.
8.The note says that comments relating to broadcasters should include
issues relevant also for authorised distributors and advertising
sales agencies of pay satellite channels.
For the complete TRAI consultation note, click