TRAI imposes financial disincentives and penalties on MSOs

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has notified an amendment to the existing Quality of Service Regulations (QoS) for Digital Addressable System (DAS) by imposing financial disincentives on multi-system operators, who are not complying with the provisions regarding billing and issue of receipts for payment made by the subscribers.

A provision for financial disincentive for an amount not exceeding Rs 20 per subscriber has been made in the amended regulation. The Authority is of the view that enabling the imposition of financial disincentives will be an effective deterrent and will incentivise MSOs to issue bills and receipts to subscribers for payments made.

The QoS Regulations also prescribes that the cable TV services shall be offered to the subscribers both on pre-paid and post-paid payment models with the options being given to subscribers.

In the amendment regulation, an explanation clarifies that the pre-paid option offered by MSO shall be implemented through electronic pre-paid mechanisms. In order to ensure that the MSOs honour the pre-paid or post-paid option given by the subscriber in a timely manner, a financial disincentive of not exceeding Rs 100 per subscriber has been made on the MSO for each contravention.

The Standards of Quality of Service (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 provides MSOs a time of 60 days to align their business processes for compliance with the provisions of the regulations.

TRAI is of the view that the imposition of financial disincentives would effectively curb the non-compliance of the provisions of the regulations and would benefit consumers and the Cable TV sector.

The QoS Regulation for DAS lays down the norms for the issue of bills to subscribers, and the issue of receipts for every payment made by subscribers.

It was observed that the prescribed norms for billing and issue of receipts for every payment made by subscribers were not being complied with by the MSOs. Such non-compliance has resulted in numerous legitimate consumer grievances. In the absence of a bill, a subscriber cannot ascertain whether the amount demanded by the MSO for the cable TV services is correct or not. Similarly, in the absence of a receipt for the payment made, there is no means to get a grievance redressed in case of any billing related dispute with the operators.

For consumers, such bills and receipts are essential; when it is available to consumers in other commercial markets, why not in the cable TV market?

Because of the non delivery of such bills and receipts by the MSOs, information of actual subscription vis-?-vis billing and payment details are not being entered into the Subscriber Management System (SMS). Consequently, commercial deals and financial transactions amongst operators are not being carried in a transparent manner. It is adversely affecting smooth implementation of DAS as mandated by law.

In absence of proper billing and accounting of receipts, there is a very real possibility of a loss of revenues accruable to the Government. It is essential that the Government gets its due tax revenues arising out of the business of the cable TV services sector.

Latest Reads
TRAI releases paper on OTT expanding its definition

India’s telecom and broadcast regulator TRAI today released another consultation paper on OTT services seeking to expand the definition of the sector and also the regulator’s jurisdiction over a sector hitherto “unregulated”.

Regulators TRAI
MIB extends feedback deadline date on mandatory sports feed sharing norms

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has extended the deadline to give feedback on the draft sports broadcasting signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharti) (Amendment) Bill, 2018 till 31 December 2018.

Regulators I&B Ministry
MIB gives permission to two new channels - Khalsa and Nireekshana TV

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) after being lenient for couple of months in awarding channel licenses, is back to being strict. In the month of October, two new channels received licenses while none saw their licenses cancelled as on 31 October 2018.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI, telco chiefs to meet in December over OTT regulation

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is scheduled to meet top executives of telcos in the month of December.

Regulators TRAI
SC upholds TRAI Act over Copyright Act in tariff order case

The two-judge bench of the apex court with Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and Navin Sinha dismissed the Star India’s appeal against Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recent tariff order. The principal area of the argument by the broadcaster was that the pricing of the content cannot be...

Regulators Supreme Court
AIDCF welcomes Supreme Court judgement which upholds TRAI jurisdiction

In the matter of the new Tariff Order and Interconnection Regulations as notified by TRAI in March 2017, the Supreme Court has today upheld the jurisdiction of TRAI to frame the above mentioned regulations.

Regulators TRAI
TRAI wins tariff order case in Supreme Court

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has come on tops in the long running battle between it and broadcaster, cable, DTH operators on whether it has pricing of content comes under its purview. The Supreme Court has finally given the long-awaiting verdict on Star India versus Telecom Regulatory...

Regulators TRAI
MIB proposes to change mandatory sports feed sharing norms

In what could have far reaching effects on the financial viability of sports TV channels or streaming platforms, which acquire exlcusive rights for sporting events for the India region spending billions of dollars.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TDSAT asks SPN, Tata Sky to reach an agreement in 4 weeks

The Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has heard the case on the recent commercial dispute between Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and Tata Sky on a failed negotiation. TDSAT heard the case on 11 October and advised the parties to take four weeks to try and reach a mutually...

Regulators TDSAT

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories