TRAI seeks justification from Independent TV on compliance of its tariff plans with new framework

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed direct to home (DTH) operator Independent TV to justify whether the existing tariff plans are in line with the new regulatory framework of the TRAI.

In a letter to the DTH operator, the regulator has also asked the DTH operator to provide information in the format prescribed by the regulator. The regulator has also called for a meeting with the senior official of the DTH company on Tuesday.

“You are hereby directed to provide all the information in the prescribed format as sought by TRAI. Further you are also required to provide detailed justification that the present tariff plans, being offered by Independent TV are in line with the new regulatory framework clearly indicating the bifurcation of the Network Capacity Fee and other charges,” TRAI said in letter issued to Independent TV dated 27th February.

The regulator sought clarification from the DTH operator after it received several complaints from the consumers over lack of clarity on tariff plans and their break-up details for monthly charges. TRAI has also asked Independent TV to clarify its position on complaints received by the regulator.

The DTH operator is said to have 0.83 million subscribers.

In February, the TRAI had served a show-cause notice to Airtel Digital TV over the blackout faced by some of its DTH customers during the switchover to the new tariff regime.

The regulator had in January asked Tata Sky to file a status report over the implementation of the new regulatory framework for the broadcasting.

In a letter to Tata Sky, the regulator had said that it has received a large number of complaints from consumers that the DTH operator has “not made any provision in their system to obtain the choice of subscribers as per the new regulatory framework.”.

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”.

The TRAI had 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.

It had also said that approximately 65% of the subscribers of the cable services and 35% subscribers of the DTH services have already exercised the options, as on date. There are approximately 100 million cable service TV homes and 67 million DTH TV homes in the country.