Trai directs Dish TV to replace non-compliant STBs

NEW DELHI: Broadcast and cable regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has directed country’s first DTH TV service provider to replace set-top boxes (STBs), if any, which do not comply with the parameters set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

According to the regulator, subscribers who have non-BIS compliant boxes can get them changed from the dealers of Dish TV, 20 per cent owned by Zee Telefilms, by end February. The regulator had taken up the issue with Dish TV on receiving complaints last year.

Pointing out that it would have been better if ASC Enterprises (the DTH licence holder) had ensured activation of only BIS compliant boxes, Trai noted that there are “difficulties at the ground level in implementation of the condition.”

“A mid-course corrective action had been taken by ASC Enterprises in the form of amending subscriber’s agreement for ensuring BIS compliant STBs,” Trai said in an official statement today. Dish TV executives were unavailable for comments.

A reference regarding deployment of non-BIS compliant boxes by ASC Enterprises was received by Trai, which felt that as pr licence agreement deployment of open architecture BIS- compliant set-top boxes was necessary.

Evidence received was examined by the regulator, subsequent to which a hearing was given to ASC Enterprises.

In its statement Trai said that ASC Enterprises had admitted that non-BIS compliant STBs were available in the market at a cheaper price, compared to BIS compliant boxes supplied by its licensee or authorised distributors.

Keeping the willingness to replace the non-compliant STBs in use by its subscribers, Trai took a lenient view of the complaint and directed ASC Enterprises to undertake steps to educate the subscribers of the necessity of taking BIS-complaint boxes.

Pointing out that Dish TV has confirmed the replacement scheme for non-BIS compliant boxes free of cost to the subscriber, Trai in its statement today said that so far nine subscribers have opted for replacement.

Any subscriber of DTH service of ASC Enterprise and using a non-BIS compliant box can contact the nearest dealer or call at 1600-12-3474 to avail of the replacement scheme.

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