Regulators

TRAI says b'cast & cable tariff, inter-connect orders come into effect 3 July

Regulator directs all stakeholders to adhere to compliance timelines

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NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued a statement stating that its tariff order for the broadcasting and cable sector will come into effect from 3 July 2018 as judicial compliances have been complied with.

“Having complied with  the  judicial  mandates  in  the  matter,  the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Eighth) (Addressable Systems)  Tariff   Order, 2017 and  the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 as upheld by the Hon'ble Madras High  Court and the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards  of   Quality  of  Service and  Consumer  Protection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 come into effect from 3rd July 2018,” the regulator said in a statement pointing out that all timelines mentioned in the original order should be adhered to immediately.

Star Tv and Vijay Tv had moved Madras High Court against the TRAI tariff order late 2016 and after protracted hearing the court finally gave its final judgement earlier this year. Subsequently Star and the regulator had both filed caveats at Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Tata Sky, Airtel Digital Tv had filed petitions in Delhi High Court on matters relating to the tariff order and the case is still pending a judgement or direction.

According to TRAI, implementation of the new regulatory framework will “bring in transparency”, enable provisioningof affordable broadcasting and cable TV services for the   consumer and, at the   same time, “would lead to an orderly growthof the sector”.

Some of the important activities and timelines are as under:

#The  Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable)  Services (Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2017: Declaration ofMRP and nature of channels by broadcasters within 60  days; declaration of network capacity fee and  distribution  retail price  by distributors (DPO)  within  180   days; reporting by broadcasters within 120  days.

# The Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Interconnection (Addressable    Systems) Regulations, 2017:    Publication     of     Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) by   broadcasters   within 60   days; publication of referenceinterconnect offers by distributors within 60 days; Signing of the interconnection agreements within 150 days;

# The Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards of   Quality of   Service ·and Consumer  Protection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017:  Migration of the subscribers to the new framework within 180  days; Establishment of customer care center, website, consumer care channel and publication of manual of practice within 120 days.

It would be interesting to see how the original petitioners react to the latest TRAI salvo. The regulator and petitioners were not available for immediate comments.

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