Tata Sky blinks, implements TRAI’s new regulatory framework

MUMBAI: With its legal battle against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) going nowhere, direct to home (DTH) operator Tata Sky has blinked first. The DTH operator has issued a statement stating that it has complied with the regulatory requirements.

The TRAI’s new regulatory framework came into force on 29th December 2018. The distribution platform operators (DPOs) got a month’s time to migrate the customers to the new pricing regime from 1st February. They have time till 31st January to get the customer choice.

The Tata Sky vs TRAI matter in the Delhi High Court has got adjourned to 28th December. The HC is hearing the matter on merit with Tata Sky arguing its case. Tata Sky has challenged the TRAI’s tariff order, interconnection regulation and quality of service (QoS) regulation in the HC.

The DTH operator said it is confident of completing the task of getting the customer choice in one week. It has opened all modes of communication to allow customers to register their choice.

“Tata Sky has always been compliant to regulatory requirements. We have gone live with our modes of communication across the Tata Sky website, Tata Sky Mobile App & also equipped the dealers that subscribers can reach out to. We were confident that we would be able to complete the task in 1 weeks’ time, hence we used this time to create a seamless and smooth transition for all our subscribers. We have ensured that choosing channels & packs is as easy as Steps 1,2,3 for any subscriber,” Tata Sky MD and CEO Harit Nagpal said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the TRAI had issued a statement directing all broadcasters and DPOs to implement the new framework from 1st February. The regulator also ruled out another extension while stating that 40% of TV consumers have exercised their options under the new regime.

Without naming Tata Sky, the TRAI also said that it has been receiving hundreds of complaints intimating that one of the DTH service providers is not providing options to its subscribers to exercise their choices and providing misleading information in regard to the implementation of the new framework. The authority has taken up the matter.

“The said DTH operator has assured in writing that they will be complying with the new regulatory framework and will make the options available for obtaining the consumers choice. The authority assures all the subscribers that all efforts are being made to ensure that there is no inconvenience or any disruption of TV services due to the migration to the new regulatory regime,” TRAI said.

Earlier, the TRAI had asked Tata Sky to file a status report over the implementation of the new regulatory framework for the broadcasting. TRAI had alleged that the DTH operator is misleading its consumers by informing subscribers that “TRAI has extended the date of implementation of new regulatory framework”.

Tata Sky’s options were running thin as the Delhi High Court had warned it during a hearing on 10th January that it runs the risk of blacking out the TV screens of its consumers as the deadline for migrating customers to the new regime is just a few days away.