TRAI plans open house before finalising tariff recos for commercial subs

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will be holding an Open House meeting relating to tariff issues for commercial subscribers on 18 August.


Following directions by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) earlier this year that there was need for a fresh look at tariff orders, TRAI had issued a new paper on "Tariff issues related to Commercial Subscribers" exactly a month earlier. Stakeholders were asked to give their comments by 31 July and counter-comments by 7 August.


The Open House is the final stage before TRAI makes recommendations on the issue.


In the paper, TRAI 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.


The regulator had also asked if there was a need to enable engagement of broadcasters in the determination of retail tariffs for commercial subscribers on a case-to-case basis.


TRAI wanted to know 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 asked if there was 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).


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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