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TRAI issues tariff order for commercial cable TV subscribers

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued with Tariff order for commercial subscribers which have been under judicial scrutiny since 2005.

On16th July 2014,TRAI has come up with commercial establishments which do not specifically charge customers on account of showing TV programmes will be treated like ordinary subscribers and will pay on per television set basis.

In an explanatory memorandum released along with the notification TRAI said that as directed by the Supreme Court in its 16th April 2014 judgement, it had initiated a consultation process, as part of a 'de novo' exercise and issued a Consultation Paper on 11th July 2014 seeking comments and views of the stakeholders.

The TRAI order also held that in all cases the commercial subscriber will obtain TV services only from a distribution platform operator like a Multi System Operator (MSO), Direct to Home (DTH), cable, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) or Headend in the Sky (HITS) operators.

In the explanatory memorandum released by it, TRAI also said that it was of the view that in the rates of TV services,  there should be no differentiation between an ordinary     subscriber and a commercial subscriber i.e. in both the cases, the charges should be the same and on per TV set basis.   

Following the consultations, TRAI issued its tariff order. The issue related to differential charges for commercial subscribers has been a contentious one as stakeholders like some broadcasters have argued that entities which provide cable TV services to their clients should be charged different rates. Others have opposed this view.

The TRAI order comes after the Supreme Court had asked it to examine the issue.

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