TRAI explores methodology for QoS under DAS regime

NEW DELHI: As the country moves towards the final phase of digital addressable systems, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India wants to know if there should be a uniform regulatory framework for quality of service and consumer protection across all digital addressable platforms.

TRAI has also sought opinion of stakeholders on the standards and essential technical parameters for ensuring good quality of service for digital cable TV, direct-to-home (DTH), head-end in the sky (HITS) and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).

The opinion has been sought in a detailed consultation paper on ‘Issues related to quality of services in Digital Addressable Systems and consumer protection’, and stakeholders have been asked to send in their comments by17 June and counter-comments if any by 1 July.

In over fifty questions posed to stakeholders, it wants to know the broad contours for quality of rervice regulatory framework for digital addressable systems.

The regulator has asked if timelines relating to various activities to get new connection should be left to the Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) to be transparently declared to the subscribers.  What should be the time limits for various activities including consumer application form and installation and activation of service for new connections, it wants to know.  

Referring to a query often asked by stakeholders, the Regulator wants to know if the minimum essential information to be included in the CAF should be mandated through regulations to maintain basic uniformity.  Should the use of e-CAF be facilitated, encouraged or mandated, it has asked.

It wants to know whether the minimum essential information to be included in the Manual of Practice be mandated through regulations to maintain basic uniformity and to ensure that consumers get all relevant information about the services being subscribed.

TRAI wants to know if an initial subscription period can be charged while providing a new connection to protect the interest of subscribers as well as DPOs, and the protections for subscribers and DPOs during initial subscription period.

TRAI wants to know the methodology of reduction in subscription charges be calculated in case of discontinuation of channel from DPOs platform.

Stakeholders have been asked to give their opinion on the maximum permissible time of disruption beyond  which subscriber must be compensated if there is disruption due to technical fault on the DPO network or at the subscriber’s end; disruption due to technical fault of Consumer Premises Equipment at the subscriber’s end.

The stakeholders have been asked why the uptake of mandated schemes for set top box (Outright purchase, hire purchase, and on rent) is so low at present and whether this is due to lack of consumer awareness and what other methods should be used for this.

Opinion has also been sought on the billing cycle both for pre-paid and post-paid and whether deduction of maintenance related charges for CPE from the pre-paid subscription account should be prohibited.

Comments have been sought on call centre availability hours, multiple languages in Interactive Voice Response, response time for answering IVR and voice to voice calls and  d. Sub menu and accessibility of customer care executive.

What should be the innovative ways to develop a speedy user friendly complaint registering and redressal framework using Mobile Apps, SMS, online system etc., the regulator has asked.

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