Channel selection deadline extended till March 31, but...
The migration to the new TRAI-mandated tariff regime has been anything but smooth. While the regime came into force from December 29, 2018, TRAI had extended the deadline till January 31, 2019, given the slow pace of migration and had stressed that no further deadline extension would be given.
Now, in a release issued, TRAI has given time up to March 31, 2019 for exercising their channel options by such subscribers who have not exercised their option yet. At the same time, the Authority has directed all DPOs to migrate those subscribers who have not exercised their options to a ‘Best Fit Plan’. The statement issued said, “The subscribers’ old plan shall continue till either the subscriber has exercised his/ her option, or he/ she is migrated to the ‘Best Fit Plan’.
Another point of confusion is TRAI’s statement that subscribers who had taken long-term packs would continue to avail the services for the contracted period. The Authority stated, “However, they have freedom to choose the channels of their choice under the new regulatory framework and in case if they exercise this option, money for the remaining period shall be adjusted for their future use.”
There is also confusion regarding the ‘Best Fit Plan’ as TRAI has left it to the DPOs, while also stating that, “Subscribers will be free to change their ‘Best Fit Plan’ at any date and time on or before 31st March 2019 and DPOs shall convert their ‘Best Fit Plan’ into the desired pack (channel/ Bouquet) within 72 hours from the time choice exercised by the Subscriber. It is clarified that there will be no ‘lock-in period’ for the subscribers till 31st March 2019, who have been migrated to ‘Best Fit Plan’ by DPOs.”
Meanwhile, there is also a flux among the advertisers with the migration to the new tariff structure. As is known, the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) has issued an advisory, asking its member to not use BARC data during the transition period for the purpose of media planning and buying.