TRAI directs 6 DPOs, flouting new tariff order rules, to comply within 5 days

TRAI officials visited consumers' homes to verify complaints

MUMBAI: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday directed six distribution platform operators (DPOs) to comply with all provisions of its new tariff order for the broadcast and cable services sectors within five days.

“Report compliance as per the new regulatory framework within 5 days from the date of issue of this direction,” ordered the regulator after it found top multi system operators (MSOs) GTPL Hathway, Siti Networks, Hathway Digital, Fastway Transmissions, Den Networks and IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) in violation of several rules of the new tariff order.

Based on receipt of complaints and inspection of DPOs’ websites and consumer premises by TRAI officials, the following issues were observed by the regulator.

GTPL Hathway

·        The said DPO is forcing the channels/packs to the consumers

·        Subscribers are not able to delete the channels

·        The said DPO is not providing bill receipt of payment made in printed form to the consumers.

Siti Networks

·        The said DPO is forcing the channels/packs to the consumers

·        Subscribers are not able to re-exercise their choice

·        The said DPO is not providing bill receipt of payment made in printed form to the consumers

·        Subscribers are not able to login to their account for selecting channels of their choice

However, Siti Networks has issued a clarification on the issue.

“SITI Networks’ had launched its self-care services through website and Mobile app in January 2019 for customers. This feature enabled customers to not only exercise their choice, but also manage and pay for their packs. Customers were able to completely customize their packs and add channels / bouquets of their choice, thus giving full freedom as mandated by TRAI. However to facilitate re-conciliation between LCO’s and customers these features have been temporarily withdrawn. SITI has been actively working with all stakeholders to re-start self-care features at the earliest," a statement from the MSO said.  

Hathway Digital

·        The said DPO is offering bouquets which contain both FTA and pay channels

·        Subscribers who have already paid amount in advance for one year, the pay channels of such consumers have been cut without their consent and only FTA channels are being shown

·        Most of the times, the consumers are not able to contact the toll free number of Hathway Digital to express their grievance

·        Subscribers are not able to re-exercise their choice through website and the following message is being displayed: For any type of renewal please call your local cable operator

Fastway Transmissions

·        Unavailability of choice of channels to the customer in selecting channels

·        Forcing its own channels/packs to the consumers

·        Hyperlink for 'consumer corner' for enabling the consumers to make their choices is not available on the website

Den Networks

·        The process of channel selection on the website of Den Networks is not user friendly (while selecting a-la-carte channels, search option is not available)

·        After selecting the channels, it is displayed on the website that activation will be done after paying the amount to the LCO

·        The said DPO is forcing the channels/packs to the consumers

·        Subscribers are not able to re-exercise their choice

·        The said DPO is not providing bill receipt of payment made in printed form to the consumers


·        The process of channel selection on the website of IMCL is not user-friendly (while selecting a-la-carte channels, genre-wise list of channels is not available)

·        IMCL is overcharging the subscribers in the name of service charges

·        IMCL is forcing the channels/packs to the consumers

·        Subscribers are not able to re-exercise their choice

“We are monitoring the implementation of the new regulatory framework by the service providers. In case any violation by any service provider is noticed, we will act as per prevailing law. On prior occasions, show-cause notices were also issued to few errant DPOs. TRAI never compromises on such violations of regulations or any market aberrations, if noticed,” TRAI chairman RS Sharma had recently told during an exclusive interview.

TRAI’s deadline for consumers to select their new TV channels ended on 31 March. Consumers that did not pick new channels have now been migrated to ‘best fit packs’.

Latest Reads
DPIIT seeks MIB views on issues regarding 26% FDI in digital media sector

MUMBAI: As the cabinet recently amended the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy allowing 26 per cent overseas investment in digital media with government approval, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has sought the views of the Ministry of Information and...

Regulators I&B Ministry
No current plans to impose regulation on OTT sector: MIB secretary

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) secretary Amit Khare said there is a need to rethink regulating over-the-top (OTT) platforms because some sections of the society are voicing concerns on its content. However, Khare also added that the ministry currently does not have any plan to...

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI organises international training programme on 'Emerging Trends in Broadcasting' with ITU

MUMBAI: The   Intemational  Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are jointly organizing an Intemational Training Program during 9th -11th October 2019 in New Delhi on "Emerging Trends in Broadcasting".

Regulators TRAI
TRAI mandates DPOs to let subscribers view, modify subscription through TRAI app, portal

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards of Quality of Service and Consumer Protection (Addressable Systems) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2019 (6 of 2019). TRAI's prevailing regulations/orders for the television...

Regulators TRAI
I&B Ministry plans regulations for OTT platforms

MUMBAI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry (MIB) is contemplating a regulation for OTT platforms on the lines of print and electronic media, according to a news article by the Press Trust of India. Minister Prakash Javadekar, however, said that the government will not be taking any step that...

Regulators I&B Ministry
DPOs say broadcasters misusing TRAI tariff order with heavy discounts

Distribution platform operators (DPOs) believe that broadcasters have misused the flexibility available to them to give a discount on the sum of a-la-carte as high as 90 per cent. The operators have shared their views on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) consultation paper (CP) on ‘...

Regulators TRAI
Broadcasters want mandatory DD channels to be part of NCF base pack

Prasar Bharati and other private broadcasters want the 25 DD mandatory channels to be part of 100 FTA channels permitted in the Network Capacity Fee of Rs 130. The public broadcaster is of the view that the channels notified by the central government should be made available to subscribers without...

Regulators TRAI
MIB issues notice to 69 channels to provide technical parameters with EMMC

MUMBAI: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has issued a notice instructing 69 private satellite channels to provide complete set of technical parameters with Electronic  Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC)  of the ministry. While the notice was issues on 25 September, the channels have been...

Regulators I&B Ministry
Supreme Court allows transfer of DTH licence fee petition from Kerala HC

MUMBAI: Moving one step closer to the long-fought battle on licence fees between direct-to-home (DTH) operators and the government of India, the Supreme Court has allowed the transfer of a related case to the apex court from the Kerala High Court.

Regulators Supreme Court

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories