Regulators

TRAI says no postponement of tariff order implementation in fresh clarification

The clarification was made after rumours floated regarding a further relaxation.

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MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has clarified that it won't be giving any more extensions to the implementation of the new tariff regime beyond the deadline of 31 January. It has given an additional month for customer migration to new tariff regime after which there have been speculations that the authority may be further postponing or stopping or revising the rule. Quashing rumours, TRAI has issued a press release and clarified that the new framework has come into effect on 29 December itself.

TRAI also states that  it has been monitoring the progress in regards to availability of consumer corner, choices to the consumers, provision of consumers care channel, percentage of consumers whose choice has been obtained etc. on day to day basis. It even noted that almost all the service providers have started providing consumer care channel on channel number 999.

The authority further added that the schedule of activities has been properly communicated to all the service providers for reaching out to the consumers and obtaining choices. In addition to that, TRAI is conducting review meetings regularly to monitor the progress.

TRAI has again advised all the service providers to strictly observe the timelines as provided in the migration plan.

It has also asked subscribers to exercise their options without waiting for the last minute to avoid any inconvenience and to ensure that they continue to view their favourite channels.

As the date for implementation of tariff order was nearing, stakeholders were highly concerned how the transition would pan out for consumers. Bringing relief to them, TRAI gave time till 31 January for consumers to opt for channels of their choice under the new regime. Customers will be migrated to new plans as per their choice from 1 February.

Earlier there were speculations about a complete blackout of TV channels in December as the system allegedly is not ready for such a big move. Then too TRAI asserted in a release that it has advised all the broadcasters, DPOs, and LCOs to ensure there is no disruption of TV services.

Left with less than one month in hand, DPOs have also started updating new channel prices and packages on their websites to inform consumers. Many large MSOs like Hathway, DEN Networks, Siti Cable have come up with "suggestive packs" bundling the popular channel of all major broadcasters.

As per TRAI, the new tariff order will give consumers the power to choose and will also lower the prices for TV channels. This new framework allows them to select and pick channels that they like to watch and pay accordingly. It also requires the TV broadcasters to disclose maximum retail price (MRP) of their respective channels and also of the channel bouquets.

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