Regulators

Bombay HC asks TRAI to take instructions on deferment of NTO 2.0

The hearing will continue tomorrow

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MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to take instructions on deferment of (new tariff order) NTO 2.0 as they did for the 2017 regime before the Madras High Court. According to sources close to the development, the regulatory body has been asked to submit a deferment plan.

TRAI has to respond at the next hearing scheduled on 27 February. As per the sources, today’s hearing went on for more than two hours and TRAI will continue its argument tomorrow. At first, broadcasters argued for the interim relief which was slightly opposed by TRAI.

“The court asked why it can’t be deferred for one more month and within which the court can complete the hearing. If this can’t be deferred for one month, then court will decide on the interim relief tomorrow itself,” one of the sources said.  

TRAI's counsels will take instructions from TRAI on the plan to defer NTO 2.0 just like they voluntarily deferred 2017 NTO before Madras HC.

At the beginning of 2020, the industry watchdog modified certain provisions (described as impugned provisions) of the new price regime which was implemented last year. TRAI prescribed twin conditions on pricing.

They were:

1. The sum of the a-la-carte rates of the pay channels (MRP)forming part of a bouquet shall in no case exceed one and a half times the rate of the bouquet of which such pay channels are a part.

2. The a-la-carte rates of each pay channel (MRP), forming part of a bouquet, shall in no case exceed three times the average rate of a pay channel of the bouquet of which such pay channel is a part.

Recently, TRAI asked broadcasters and distribution platform operators (DPOs) to take necessary steps to ensure a smooth rollout of the amended new tariff order from 1 March. Both broadcasters and distribution platform operators (DPOs) had been directed to publish the required information on their website to provide consumers sufficient time to exercise their choice of channels and bouquets before the implementation.

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