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TRAI's new tariff order has made ecosystem transparent: RS Sharma

According to Sharma, the new regulation has brought the market forces into play

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MUMBAI: The new tariff order has been rolled out aiming transparency in the cable and broadcasting sector of India. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma reiterated that the new regulatory framework has brought transparency in the ecosystem along with non-discrimination and fair play. Sharma also asserted that it has reduced the bills of the average TV watcher.

"The implementation of the new broadcast tariff regime is working out very well. The monthly bills of thousands of consumers have also been reduced. The consumer's bill is a function of how much he watches, if he or she watches hundreds of channels obviously the bills will go up. If someone watches 25 channels, the bill will come down to one-third," Sharma told as quoted by IANS.

"The objective of the regulations is to essentially bring out a regime of transparency and allow the customers to choose channels which they want to watch, and then allow the market forces which were not in play earlier," he added.

Earlier the market was only focused on distributors and broadcasters but consumers were not actively participating.

He also added that the implementation of the new tariff regime has removed the difference between the small operator and a large operator, as they both get the channels at the same rate from the broadcasters. Moreover, he asserted that the basic objective of the new regime to create a buffet of channels where everyone is charged the same rather than reducing or increasing the bills.

Sharma’s comment comes at a time when several reports, as well as surveys, have indicated that there has been a hike in the monthly bill under the new price regime. Due to the change in pricing, many experts predicted that consumers would shift to OTT platforms eventually. To decrease the churn rate, some of the DTH players have removed network capacity fee for long duration packs.

Earlier, the regulatory body in February extended the deadline to pick new channels under the new regime till 31 March as well as gave a directive of Best Fit Plans. The subscribers that don’t opt for new channels would be moved to ‘Best Fit Plans’, which would be developed as per usage pattern, language and channel popularity, the sector regulator said in its statement.

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