Regulators

Commercial and non-commercial subscribers should have different tariff under DAS: IBF

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NEW DELHI: The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has said that the Digital Addressable System (DAS) tariff order was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution as it equated ‘equals with unequals.’

 

Abhishek Malhotra told the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) that the stand taken by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was also contrary to the stand taken by it over the last 10 years.

He said that commercial subscribers could not be charged at the same rate as other subscribers who received television signals in their homes.

 

The bench was hearing the petition by IBF challenging the DAS tariff order issued in July by TRAI relating to commercial subscribers.

 

In the tariff order, TRAI had said that commercial establishments who do not specifically charge its clients/guests on account of providing/showing television programmes and offer such services as part of amenities are to be treated like ordinary subscribers wherein the charges would be on per television basis.

 

In cases where commercial subscribers specifically charge its clients/guests on account of providing/showing television programmes the tariff would be as mutually agreed between the broadcaster and the commercial subscriber.

 

TRAI had also said that the commercial subscriber was to obtain television service only from a distribution platform operator (MSO/DTH Operator/IPTV operator/HITS operator).

 

The tariff order amendment has been brought out as per the directions of the Supreme Court. It is expected that with the coming into force of these changes in the regulatory framework, the distribution of TV services to the commercial subscribers would be streamlined and the services would be available to them at competitive rates.

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