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TRAI optimistic about onboarding 90% consumers by tariff order deadline

TRAI chairman thinks the desired figure of 100 per cent onboarding will be reached soon

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MUMBAI: Before the 1 February deadline of consumer migration to new plans in line with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) tariff order, chairman RS Sharma seems confident of onboarding 90 per cent consumers to the new regime.

According to news agency PTI report, Sharma has noted a trend in the past few days of a sudden surge in the recording of customer preferences by service providers. Seeing the positive response from consumers, TRAI chairman thinks the desired figure of 100 per cent onboarding will be reached soon.

“Looking at the trend, we feel, we will be able to reach the figure of over 90 per cent by January 31 there may be 10 per cent cases where people may be travelling or not present at home,” he said.

For smooth implementation, as well as consumer awareness, the regulatory body has come out with advertisements and created YouTube videos. It is also holding regular meetings with broadcasters, direct to home (DTH) operators and multi system operators (MSO) to review the customer choice collection progress.

“We are reviewing it on a day-to-day basis. We are also looking into apps of various DTH operators to see how customer-friendly they are for recording of viewer choices,” Sharma stated.

The new regulatory framework puts power in hands of consumers to choose the channels they want to watch through a-la-carte and broadcaster or DPO packages as well. 

Many industry experts have speculated that it will raise the monthly cable bill. Sharma feels that the monthly bills of those customers who only select the channels they watch will certainly go down. He also advised that viewers should not unnecessarily hoard channels as they can addchannels to cart whenever they wish.

“Many a times, people buy goods they don't need today but think they will need tomorrow. Tomorrow, if they want to watch a channel they can buy it… why should they hoard the channel because it is a costly hoarding as they have to pay for it too,” he said.

The regulator on 24 January said that 40 per cent of consumers have exercised their options of selecting TV channels under the new tariff order. 

On the same day, TRAI published a cautionary note writing to all broadcasters and DPOs, asking them to comply by the new regulatory framework within the stipulated time.

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