Delhi HC asks TRAI to file reply on extension of switchover date for TV customers

MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court has questioned the rationale behind the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) decision to extend the migration deadline for TV customers to 31st March.

Delhi HC chief justice Rajendra Menon has asked TRAI to file an affidavit within a week explaining the reasons for extending the implementation deadline of the new tariff plans.

The HC was hearing the batch of petitions filed by direct to home (DTH) operators Tata Sky and Bharti Telemedia in which Discovery Communications India has also been impleaded.

The DTH operators argued that the TRAI regulations were not framed properly and were ambiguous. The matter has been posted for hearing on 21st February.

On 12th February, TRAI had announced that they have extended the deadline for consumers who have not exercised their options under the new pricing regime till 31st March. The deadline is not applicable for those subscribers who have exercised their choice under the new regime.

TRAI has also said that nine crore out of 17 crore TV homes have migrated to the new pricing regime. With the extension announcement, the regulator has also directed the distribution platform operators (DPOs) to migrate customers who have not exercised their options to a ‘Best Fit Plan’. It further stated that the old plan of the subscribers will continue till either subscriber has exercised his/her option, or he/she is migrated to the ‘Best Fit Plan’.

It further stated 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.

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