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Consumers can watch 100 pay or FTA SD channels for Rs 130 per month: TRAI

Consumer has complete freedom to choose their desired 100 Standard Definition (SD) channels within the network capacity fee of maximum Rs 130 in the new tariff regime, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has said in a release issued. The desired channels could be in a-la-carte Free to Air (FTA) channels or Pay channels or bouquet of pay channels or any combination thereof. “The choice completely rests with the consumers,” TRAI stated. 

As is known, the TRAI mandated new regulatory framework for Broadcasting and Cable services came into effect on December 29, 2018. The framework comprises of Interconnect Regulations 2017, Quality of Service & Consumer Protection Regulations 2017 and Tariff Order 2017. However, keeping in view the consumer convenience and to provide sufficient time to the consumers for exercising the options, the regulatory authority has provided time up to January 31, 2019. 

TRAI stated that it had noticed that several broadcasters were advertising their channels in the form of bouquets only. It clarified, “Customers may note that they have the option to choose channels on a-la-carte also. The maximum retail price (MRP) of a channel on a-la-carte can be viewed in the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) or Menu of their TV screens. Distribution Platform Operator (DPO) such as cable operators, DTH operators may provide discount on the MRP displayed on the EPG.” 

DPOs are providing various options to consumers to exercise their choice, including:

  • Personal contact by Local Cable Operator
  • Calling on Call Centre Number
  • Using Mobile: App or through DPO Website

DPOs have also been asked to run consumer information channel, preferably on channel No. 999, wherein consumer related information, including the prices of channels on a-la-carte and bouquets are made available. 

TRAI’s release also mentions some contact details in case any clarifications or details are required – Anil Kumar Bhardwaj, Advisor - II (B&CS), TRAI, can be reached at 011-23237922 or email at advbcs-2@trai.gov.in ; or Arvind Kumar, Advisor – I/III (B&CS), TRAI at 011-23220209 or email at arvind@gov.in.

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