Regulators

TRAI says 6.5 cr cable, 2.5 cr DTH homes under new tariff regime

TRAI chairman RS Sharma is closely monitoring the transition

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MUMBAI: Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India (TRAI) has stated that nine crore of the 17 crore television homes in India have migrated to the new tariff regime. TRAI chief RS Sharma, who has been monitoring the transition closely, said the nine crore figure included 6.5 crore cable TV homes and 2.5 crore DTH homes.

"The speed [of onboarding] has increased as per our data and we expect the rest of the people to also register their choice of channels soon," he told news agency Press Trust of India.

With DTH operating on a prepaid model, Sharma pointed out that consumers with long and short duration packs will soon opt for their new channel preferences.

"We are guiding and helping the operators wherever required and are calling regular meetings to clarify matters," Sharma noted.

The regulator intends to ramp up its consumer outreach and awareness programmes to further increase the speed of the transition.

"TRAI will take up a massive campaign on consumer awareness, through social media, print, advertisements, jingles and other programs," he said.

Last week, TRAI had asked distribution platform operators (DPOs) to respond on special schemes for TV households with multiple connections.

Reiterating its stand, the sector regulator had said that DPOs should permit individual set top boxes (STBs), even within the same home, to have separate choice of channels, should the consumer wish so.

As per the new norms, DPOs can provide discounts, and even forgo the network capacity fee (NCF) of Rs 130 for subsequent connections in the same household, provided these discounts are offered in a uniform manner in a region and clearly stated on the website.

According to Sharma, three operators have already reverted on the special schemes and plans for TV households with multiple connections. TRAI, however, is unlikely intervene into the matter for now.

The new framework that came into effect from 1 February has been widely debated over in the cable and broadcast circles.

Last week, the executive council of the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) advised its members against using BARC India viewership date for media planning, buying and evaluation perspective during the transition period, which it believes could last up to six weeks.

While TRAI has left no stone unturned to ensure a smooth and seamless migration, it continues to battle several legal cases in various courts across India.

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