Post TDSAT order, TRAI issues fresh paper on tariff for commercial subscribers

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked commercial subscribers whether there is need to define and differentiate between domestic subscribers and commercial subscribers for provision of TV signals and the basis for such classification.


In a paper on "Tariff issues related to Commercial Subscribers", the regulator has also asked if there is a need to enable engagement of broadcasters in the determination of retail tariffs for commercial subscribers on a case-to-case basis.


The paper has been issued following the directions by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) earlier this year that there was need for a fresh look at tariff orders. Stakeholders have been asked to give their comments by 31 July and counter-comments by 7 August.


TRAI has sought information on how it can be ensured that TV signal feed is not misused for commercial purposes wherein the signal has been provided for non-commercial purpose. 


It has also asked if there is a need to have a different tariff framework for commercial subscribers (both at wholesale and retail levels) and what should be the suggested tariff framework for commercial subscribers (both at wholesale and retail levels).


It wants to know if the present framework is adequate to ensure transparency and accountability in the value chain to effectively minimise disputes and conflicts among stakeholders, and what should the practical and implementable mechanism be to ensure transparency and accountability in the value chain. 


Following the Supreme Court's order of 16 April, 2014, TRAI had notified the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Second) tariff (Twelfth   Amendment) order & the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Fourth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff (Fourth Amendment) order on 16 July, 2014. These two tariff amendment orders prescribing the tariff framework for commercial subscribers were challenged before TDSAT, which in its order of 9 March, 2015 had set aside these Tariff Amendment Orders. TRAI was asked to examine the issue afresh and come out with a new tariff dispensation for commercial subscribers within six months from the date of its order.

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