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TRAI reminds consumers they can pick a-la-carte channels

Notification came after Trai felt some broadcasters advertising only channel packs

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MUMBAI: In its latest missive the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has taken note that broadcasters are only advertising bouquets of their channels and not informing customers about a-la-carte options. As per the new regulatory framework, consumers must be given the choice of picking individual channels too.

“Now it has been noticed that several broadcasters are advertising their channels in the form of bouquets only. However customer may note that they have option to choose channels on a-la-carte also,” TRAI said in the release.

It went on to state, “Consumer has complete freedom to choose their desired 100 standard definition (SD) channels within the network capacity fee of maximum Rs 130. The desired channels could be in a-Ia-carte free to air channels or pay channels or bouquet of pay channels or any combination thereof. The choice completely rests with the consumers.”

TRAI has also mentioned that the maximum retail price (MRP) of a channel on a-la-carte can be viewed in the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) or Menu of the TV screens of customers. However, Distribution Platform Operators (DPO) such as cable operators, DTH operators may provide discount on the MRP.

For informing consumer properly, DPOs have been requested to run Consumer Information channel preferably on channel number 999 wherein consumer-related information including the prices of channels on a-la-carte and bouquets are made available.

LCOs, MSOs, DTH operators are coming up with various options to consumers so that they can exercise their choice conveniently. LCOs can be reached by personal contact while the option of calling on call centre number is also available for many DPOs. Along with the website facility, many DPOs are also providing the option of apps.

It once again reminded subscribers to make their picks in advance to avoid last minute hassles.

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