TRAI expects DPOs to declare special schemes for multiple TV connection households

It has assured that subscribers availing pre-paid services will face no disruption.

MUMBAI: After Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s new tariff regime empowering citizens to choose channels, came into effect from 1 February, consumers as well as distribution platform operators (DPOs) are facing several issues. To address such concerns, the authority held a press conference at TRAI headquarters in New Delhi.

One topic discussed was the presence of multiple TV households. These subscribers prefer a cheaper scheme for the second TV. To keep it same under new regime, TRAI has sought details of special schemes for provision of second or subsequent connection. The regulatory body expects that DPOs will declare special schemes for multiple connections within a TV home in a day or so. TRAI said it is keeping an eye on the development and will intervene if required.

While TRAI has always promoted the view that the new order will put power in the hands of consumers, there have been speculations that it will actually increase the monthly pay TV bill. Recently, ratings agency Crisil also published a report on price hike along the same line. TRAI refuted the report saying it is not based on focused analysis and research.

“The report is based on choosing top rated channels on all India basis and considers only one weekly report dated 25th January 2019, from TV Rating Agency, BARC. The selection of channels by subscribers is primarily driven by language, genre, region and culture. The report fails to appreciate that even among top three channels, that is Sun TV, Zee Anmol and Star Maa, the language is Tamil, Hindi and Telugu respectively,” TRAI commented.

TRAI has claimed so based on the logic that it is unlikely to expect one family to choose Tamil, Hindi and Telugu channel simultaneously. The regulatory body added that this is more glaring in the scenario where TV channels of Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bangla, Malayalam and English have been considered together.

Apart from lashing out at the report for “misleading subscribers”, TRAI added the preliminary data analysis reflects actual savings by subscribers to the tune 10 to 15  per cent  in metro towns and between 5 to 10 per cent in non-metro (DAS 3 and DAS 4) areas.

TRAI has again assured that subscribers availing pre-paid services will face no disruption, if there is a credit balance available in the subscriber’s wallet/ account.

“The authority received information that while migrating consumers, one large service provider has caused blackout on the TV screen of a few-thousand subscribers. Taking a serious view, the authority has issued show cause notice to that service provider,” it added. DPOs were strictly told to cause no disruption in services. 

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