No incidence of DTH ops not adhering to TRAI’s channel pricing norms: Javadekar

MUMBAI: Information and Broadcasting (I&B) minister Prakash Javadekar has said that has been no incidence indicating that the direct to home (DTH) operators are not adhering to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) norms with regards to the pricing of channels.

“No incidence indicating that the DTH Operators are not adhering to the TRAI’s norms with regards to the pricing of channels has come to the notice of TRAI,” Javadekar said in the Lok Sabha, in response to a question.

He further stated that the government that the DTH operators have, in general, implemented the TRAI’s new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable services.

Javadekar also pointed out that the new regulatory framework has been implemented with effect from 29th December 2018. However, keeping in view the consumer convenience and to provide sufficient time to consumers to exercise the options for the new tariff packs, TRAI provided time until 31st March 2019 to consumers for conveying their informed choices to service providers.

As per the new regulatory framework, every broadcaster is required to offer all its channels on the a-la-carte basis and declare maximum retail price (MRP), per month, payable by a subscriber for each of its pay channel offered on an a-la-carte basis.

Further, all the Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) including DTH operators are mandated to display of prices of all channels on Electronic Program Guide (EPG), which are visible to all the consumers watching TV.

TRAI, he said, has taken several initiatives for raising awareness of consumers and facilitating them in selecting the channels of their choice. For this purpose, service providers have created their website and APPs. Consumers can also provide their choice to call center of service providers and through their local cable operators.

He also stated that the TRAI has developed the My Channel Application, available on TRAI’s website, which enables consumers to select the channels of their choice and assess their monthly bill.

TRAI, he added, has undertaken an extensive campaign for generating consumer awareness about the new regulatory framework. Several advertisements have been published in a newspaper of various languages to make consumers aware of the various ways to exercise options.

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