TRAI gives a month to TV subscribers to choose channels under new regulatory regime
Biznext India : Telecom Regulator TRAI has extended the deadline for migration to the new regulatory framework for Broadcasting and Cable services to 31st January 2019 and all the subscription packs will continue uninterrupted till then.
TRAI on 3rd March, 2017, notified the new regulatory framework for Broadcasting and Cable services under which subscribers can choose and pay for the channels of their choice.
However, the regulatory framework could not come into effect because of some pending litigations. Accordingly, all the timelines prescribed in the said framework commenced from 3rd July 2018 and the prescribed due date for migration to new framework was on 29th December 2018.
In order to have a smooth implementation of the new regulatory framework, TRAI held a series of meetings and consultations with all the stakeholders including Consumers Advocacy Groups (CAG)during last 4-6 weeks. It was duly noted that to make the consumers aware about the new framework and the process of seeking fresh choice of TV channels from about 150 million subscribers would require some time and resources of the service providers.
Subsequently, the Authority also held meetings on 19th December 2018 and 27th December 2018 with various service providers of the broadcasting and cable services sector. The preparedness for migration of all subscribers from old to new framework was also assessed. The issue of smooth migration from the old to new regulatory framework was specifically discussed and deliberated upon. It emerged from the discussions that by and large, most of the stakeholders are ready for implementation of new regulatory framework.
In order to facilitate all the service providers to migrate their subscribers from old to new framework so that no inconvenience is caused to the subscribers, TRAI, after consultation with DTH Operators and MSOs, has taken the decision to extend the deadline.
“All existing packs/plans/bouquets to the subscribers will continue uninterrupted till 31st January 2019. No service provider to disconnect any signal/feed to any MSO/ LCO/ subscriber till 31st January 2019. DPOs to devise their own mechanism to reach out to all the subscribers and seek options from subscribers. DPOs to migrate all the subscribers to new framework w.e.f. 1stFebruary 2019 as per options exercised by them” TRAI said in a statement.